Minestrone Soup

5 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more or less to taste)
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 bouillon cubes
8 cups water

1) In a large soup pot, fry the bacon until crispy. Set bacon aside and drain all but about 2 Tablespoons of bacon drippings from the pot.*
2) Add the onion, celery and garlic to the remaining bacon drippings and sautee for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the black pepper and carrots and sautee for another 2-3 minutes.
3) Add 1 cup of water and deglaze the bottom of the soup pot. Then add the remaining water and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until veggies are cooked to your liking. Serve into bowls, and crumble the reserved bacon over the top of each bowl. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-7.
Recipe Notes:
Don’t drain away any of the bacon drippings. Saute those veggies in all of that glorious, artery-clogging fat.