We often buy things in bulk when they’re on sale. This time we stocked up on bacon. A little bacon goes a long way in adding depth to a dish. You don’t get a whole lot of fat and nitrates that way but you do get a lot of flavor. And oh what a flavor it is! Bean and bacon soup is a simple, easy soup to make and it’s a great way to use up any beans you’ve had sitting in your cupboard. We try to rotate our food storage fairly regularly and had a ton of beans that needed to be used. So I’ve been making chili and various bean dishes to use them up. Beans are a great source of protein, they’re filling, inexpensive, and are pretty versatile. You can make bean flour, bean burgers, and my mom makes a killer bean lasagna, just for example. Bean and bacon soup is not fancy, just a good, hearty, flavorful, satisfying soup.
2 cups mixed dried beans, soaked overnight in a pot of water, drained, and rinsed
5 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups beef broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
1 large carrot, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
1 large bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until crispy. Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and seasonings. Increase the heat, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the beans are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve bean and bacon soup warm.