Thursday, December 9, 2010

3 bean & bacon soup

Bean and bacon soup was one of my favorites growing up. But only from Campbells, condensed thankyouverymuch!. And CERTAINLY not my Mom's homemade, dear lord, not that! Why would condensed canned soup be better that Mom's homemade? Simple: Mom wasn't (and isn't) much of a cook. Her idea of bean soup was to boil pinto beans until they were kind of soft, add a TON of onion, some large hunks of carrot and that's about it. Flavorless, thin broth and semi crunch beans and carrots. Does that sound good to anyone? Do you see now why the Witch learned to cook?

This soup has both my Mom's and Campbell's beat. It uses pantry staples, is cheap and easy to assemble. I use canned beans for time saving as well as the variety that they offer. For this soup I chose 3 white beans, cannellini (white kidney), navy and butter beans. Feel free to use whatever beans you have in your pantry! Be sure to drain and rinse them well, that helps eliminate that 'canned' flavor and rinse away some of the excess salt that they're packed in.

The rest of the soup has pretty basic ingredients, carrots which add a delightful burst of sweetness, celery for flavor and onion & garlic, well cause I love onions & garlic, they make everything taste better. I dice my onions very fine so the little Witch will eat them, too. Bay leaves are wonderful with beans, along with some thyme, both add a nice herbal floral aroma and flavor to the soup, something you just do NOT get from canned soups. And bacon, let us not forget about the bacon! I use the drippings to sautee the vegetables in, adding even more flavor to the soup. Which leaves me with tomatoes.

Time for a little story. The Witch makes this delightful pot of soup, with corn bread muffins and honey butter for her family. She tastes the soup as its cooking and feels that its going along well, pretty tasty indeed. A little more salt, a touch of pepper and dinner's served. But as the Witch ladles up the soup she thinks "there's something missing here" yet serves it to her family. A few bites into the soup the Witch says out loud "Oh crap, I forgot to add some tomatoes for acidity. Darn it!" Then the Witch remembers she has some tomato puree in the fridge, just waiting to be used up. Rather than allow the family to suffer from sub par soup, she snatches up the bowls of soup from her poor hungry family, deeming them inedible until further notice. She adds the tomato puree to the pot of soup, stirs it up and lets it simmer for about 5 LONG minutes and then reserves it to the family. Ahh, that's more like it! The color deepened and the flavor, well the bit of acidity is exactly what the soup needed to go from pretty good to holy hell this is amazing! The lesson here readers is to NOT FORGET the acidity in your soups! That flavor is very important, it balances the other flavors, brightens things up and added a depth of flavor that you simply can't do with out. Lesson learned!

3 Bean & Bacon Soup
makes 6 servings
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, fine chopped
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 can navy beans, drained & rinsed
1 can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained & rinsed
1 can butter beans, drained & rinsed
1 t dried thyme
3 bay leaves
8 oz tomato puree or sauce
kosher salt & pepper to taste
1/2 lb bacon cooked crispy, use drippings for sauteing vegetables (I used Pork & Bacon sausage)

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Slice the bacon into small pieces and cook until crispy. Once bacon is crisp remove meat from pan and keep the drippings.

To the bacon drippings add the carrots, celery and onion. Cook about 5 minutes stirring as needed. Add the garlic and cook for 10 minutes longer, until the onions are very soft and starting to brown.

Add the stock, water, herbs, salt & pepper, stirring up any cooked on bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes over medium low heat.

Add the beans and the tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes longer, adjusting salt as needed. If using Pork & Bacon sausage, add the cooked meat to the soup when adding the beans & tomatoes. If using good old bacon strips add bacon as a garnish on top to avoid soggy bacon pieces

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Amount Per Serving
Calories 287.9
Total Fat 17.1 g
Saturated Fat 6.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 40.0 mg
Sodium 1,189.4 mg
Potassium 537.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.9 g
Dietary Fiber 6.4 g
Sugars 2.5 g
Protein 13.4 g


Betty Ray said...

Mmmmm, we just had something similar last night (husband made it). Soooo good. I had never had bean soup before! Gasp. I'm glad to have your recipe now to try. :)

Oh, and I grew up on Campbell's condensed soups too - and all the other casseroles, etc. that can be made with them. LOL

StephenC said...

Nice soup!

Bo said...

I really used to like the Campbell's kind as a kid too...looks so good!

Ananda Rajashekar said...

Am not a bacon girl, but soup looks luscious and comforting :)

Design Wine and Dine said...

OKAY - you KNOW I love this with how soup crazy I have been! You are lucky your little one will eat the soups, mine will not eat beans.

Also, it's funny you mention the tomato thing b/c I just bought a case of diced canned tomatoes for this VERY reason! Just makes the soup better - Very good lesson indeed! :)

Brian said...

So I, being the Dear Husband, hungry after a long day and coming home to the wonderful smells that permeate from the Kitchen Witches kitchen, am super hungry now. So I have a bowl placed down before me and I start digging in with zeal of a growing teenage boy, and about mid way through my bowl, it was swept from me in order for the Kitchen Witch to make it perfect, With a tear in my eye as I patiently wait that seemingly LONG 5 minutes. I have to say it was well worth the wait!

Ashleigh @ Pregnant AGAIN said...


Big Dude said...

We're big fans of bean soup and this sounds like a real winner.

Sook said...

The soup is just what I need on a chilly day like this! Looks warm and delicious.

Michelle J said...

This sounds sooooo good. And with cornbread, no less! I'm in comfort food heaven! :)

Jenn said...

OMG your poor starving family!! LOL I love Brian's comment!! Sounds like something I would do to Chris..I mean it's gotta be perfect :)
I know I told you I wasn't a bean soup fan, but you didn't tell me it was going to have bacon in it...I could eat this for sure! Looks really good.

Linda said...

I love soup! I eat it all year long. I am adding this delicious recipe to my must try list!

Anonymous said...

Yum.... I love soup, especially bean. And I the addition of bacon is pure heaven.

Leigh @ Colorado Springs Giveaways said...

Yum, I will definitely have to try this soup! Anything with bacon is guaranteed to be tasty :)

James said...

Looks like a great soup - perfect on a chilly day - happy to discover your blog!

Jean at The Delightful Repast said...

That soup looks hearty and delicious! I love to have lighter meals, like soup, when I'm having a lot of treats like my homemade eggnog. And this is, after all, what I call Soup Weather.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I love making soup at this time of year :)

Kate - Dinnerware said...

Great stuff here. A happy holiday season to you and your readers!

Maria said...

This looks great! Can't wait to make it!!

Chef Dennis said...

I love a good bean soup and it does benefit from the addition of the bacon! I try to keep most of my soups meat free at school, but I always want to add bacon or pork anytime I make a bean soup....sigh...
Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

Stella said...

Hey Andrea, you're too funny. My Mom's soup was that way too-just blah! Your white bean and bacon soup sounds wonderful though.
By the way, I wish you a very happy 2011:)

drdang12 said...

wish you a very happy new year 2011.thanks for nice recipe.but a a veggie i prefer without bacon,instead add few part of noodles or small amount of rice.

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