315-ouncecans white cannellini beans (divided)drained and rinsed
1teaspoonfennel seedsground or finely crushed
1sprig fresh rosemary
sea saltto taste
6slicescooked bacon for garnish (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and fennel and cook for about 6 minutes until they are softened and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
Add the chicken stock, about half of the rinsed beans, the fennel seeds, thyme, and rosemary sprig. Turn the heat up to high and bring the soup to a boil. Then, cover it and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove the rosemary sprig.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it's fairly smooth and creamy. Add the remaining beans, and salt to taste. Cook the soup for another 5 minutes or until it's heated through.
While the soup is finishing, crisp the bacon in the microwave and crumble it if using it for a garnish.