Friday, March 1, 2013

Bean With Bacon Soup Makeover

Bye bye, Campbell's. No MSG-laden bean with bacon soup for us! Okay, I have actually found another brand that doesn't have that junk in it, but this version is better for us and even tastier! I use turkey bacon (it's not like you get the texture of perfectly crispy bacon in this dish anyway) and add a bunch of nice, leafy kale. I love the texture the kale adds, not to mention the nutritional punch it brings to the party. Cannellini beans add a lovely velvety finish while still retaining their shape, but you could really use any white beans you like or have on-hand. If you're looking for a more traditional texture, navy beans are perfect.

For a vegetarian version, you could even omit the bacon altogether. Just up the amount of salt and add a couple of drops of liquid smoke to finish.

Bean With Bacon Soup (4 large servings or 6 starter servings)
Healthier Bean with Bacon Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (omit if not using lean bacon)
  • 1 medium cooking onion, finely chopped (white or yellow will do)
  • 6 slices of turkey bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 4 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 c. chicken or vegetable stock (plus water, if needed)
  • 3-4 c. white beans, cooked (or a 16 oz. can, drained) - I used cannellini beans
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 4 c. kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped (it will cook down in the soup)
  • salt, to taste (you won't need much because of the bacon)
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Add oil to a hot dutch oven.
  2. Add onion and cook until just beginning to caramelize. 
  3. Add bacon and cook until onions are glossy and bacon is cooked through
  4. Add thyme, carrot and celery and stir to incorporate until vegetables are just beginning to soften
  5. Pour in stock and add tomato paste
  6. Add beans
  7. Simmer until veggies are cooked through
  8. Add kale
  9. Add more water, if needed, then adjust seasonings. I like mine pretty thick, more like a stew, but add more water if you're after something that is more soup-ish.


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