In a casserole on medium heat, cook the bacon crisp then drain on paper towels. Leave bacon fat in casserole and add onions to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Season and add thyme, roasted garlic, and beans. Stir, then add stock and chopped bacon, and bring to a boil. Check for flavor. Place cover ajar and simmer for 45 minutes until beans are very soft. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until smooth. Check again for seasoning.
In a large pasta bowl, ladle soup and place crouton in the center. Place a small mound of the salad on the crouton and garnish with basil chiffonade.
Wine Recommendation: Grosset, Clare Valley Riesling, Polish Hill, Australia, 1998
Thai basil shrimp salad:
In a hot skillet coated with oil, saute the shrimp and season. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until done and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together, juice, chiles, shallot, fish sauce, sugar, and oil. Toss with warm shrimp and basil. Check for flavor.