Bean & Bacon Soup
- 6 pieces thick-sliced bacon or bacon end pieces chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion about ½ large or 1 medium
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 8 cups home-cooked or canned small white beans navy, pea, or great northern with 1 cup liquid
- 4 oz. tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce optional
- 2 cups broth or 2 cans—chicken, beef, or veggie
Mash 2 cups of the beans in a blender, food processor, a bowl and fork, or a potato masher, and set aside
In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, cook chopped bacon till slightly browned but not completely dry—if this generates a lot of fat, remove all but about 1 Tablespoon.
Add onion, celery, garlic, and carrots and sauté until onion is translucent (about 10 minutes).
Stir in tomato paste and gradually add enough broth to thin it for easy mixing.
Put bacon and sautéed vegetables in slow cooker or large soup pot.
Add whole beans, mashed beans, salt, thyme, broth, and bay leaves.
For soup pot, bring to boil then simmer on low, covered, about 30 minutes.
For slow cooker, put all the prepped ingredients into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low 6—8 hours (precise time is not critical).
When done, remove bay leaves.
Have more Tabasco sauce available for those who like heat.
This recipe makes a lot of soup—around 3 quarts. If you don’t need that much, cut the ingredients in half. But this soup freezes well, so if you want to have some handy for another dinner, make the larger quantity.