November 13, 2015

Bean with bacon soup

As a kid, one of my most favorite soups to eat was a can of bean with bacon soup. I loved it. That and split pea. I have always found both of these soups to be oddly comforting. So I've been trying to recreate bean with bacon soup at home. I've tried a few times now and I think this version was pretty close in terms of flavor, though it has a bit more vegetables. I tried using dried beans to make it in the past, and it was okay, but only canned beans were able to recreate the texture I was trying for, no matter how long I cooked those dried beans. It's definitely getting into the time of year when we are having soup for dinner (and then lunch leftovers) at least once a week. It's getting cold and that means all the soup we can eat! Soups are one of my favorite things to make because they are warming and comforting, but also they are usually a great frugal meal and a terrific way to stretch meats and use up odd vegetables you have in the fridge.

So now when the weather is cold, or I'm feeling under the weather, I can make a big pot of this soup to warm me up. This will make enough for several servings of soup. Serve this with a side of crusty bread or some cheese and crackers for a complete meal. 

Bean with bacon soup
4 slices of thick-cut bacon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 cups water
3 cans (~15 oz. each) navy beans, drained 
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat. 

Stir in the tomato paste, onion, celery, and carrot along with a good pinch of salt and a couple grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and bay and cook for another minute. Stir in the smoked paprika.

Add the water and stir well to de-glaze the bottom of the pot. Stir in the beans and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Simmer the soup for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Chop the bacon and stir it into the soup. Serve hot.

What was I cooking one year ago?: turmeric & honey roasted chickpeas
Two years ago?: chana masala
Three years ago?: turnip & Yukon gold potato gratin
Four?: orange & honey roasted rutabaga
5?: cider-braised short ribs


  1. I often add beans to my soup to make them much more filling and hearty. Beans are so cheap too.

  2. I too enjoy soup made with beans or lentils. Yours looks great, Amy.

  3. It looks really fresh and the colour looks so tempting

  4. Love this! Love bean soups this time of year and with bacon it would deb divine. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  5. Yum–sounds like a great soup!

  6. I love any soup with bacon in it!! So comforting!

  7. That does look like a very hearty soup. I like soups with bacon too. It's cold and raining here today - perfect soup weather! xx

  8. I love pretty much any and all soups! This sounds delicious - perfect for chilly weather!

  9. Hi Amy, growing up my mom would make a similar soup, forgot all about it till I saw this post, will be preparing this recipe for my lunches this week, looks delicious.

  10. Mmmm, you may already know this, but soup is my #1 favorite comfort food. I made a pasta e fagioli with bacon that has some similarities to this, and yours looks SO good. Perfection!

  11. This is such a classic. I love the smoked paprika in it!

  12. This soup looks super classic, delish and comfy. JUST YUM!

  13. The rich color makes my mouth water! It looks delicious and definitely something that I could make and put away to eat throughout the week. Love this inexpensive recipe! Thanks for sharing. :)


  14. I am a big fan of soup. I try to make a big pot every week in the winter months for my lunch at work. I love this bean with bacon soup, it sounds delicious.


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