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Cook diced bacon in a dutch oven or soup pot set over medium-high heat to a desired crispness. Remove cooked bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
To the bacon grease add 1 tablespoon butter to melt.
To the melted butter, add sliced celery, carrots, and onion; cook for 4 minutes, or until veggies are crisp-tender.
Stir in the garlic and season with salt, pepper, thyme, and chili powder.
Stir in the ham and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until just heated through.
Add the beans; stir and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in chicken broth and add the bay leaf.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Discard bay leaf.
Stir in previously prepared bacon.
Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.
Garnish with parsley.
Ladle in soup bowls and serve.