Bean without Bacon Soup

Growing up, soup was just something that came from a can. In fact, when my mom would whip up a homemade soup (which she occasionally did and did well), I would be all suspicious. That’s not real soup, Mom!

Bean without Bacon Soup - A homemade vegetarian version of the popular canned bean with bacon soup. You won't miss the bacon - promise! Vegan/dairy-free option.

Well, things have changed, and canned soup is a rare exception in our house. Not only am I not a fan of how most of them taste, but I just like making it from scratch. And when I need a soup that’s as convenient as canned, it’s as easy as dipping into the freezer, where I keep extra batches and leftovers.

There are a couple of canned varieties I do miss, though – not just because we hardly ever eat the canned stuff, but also because I’m a vegetarian. First on the list? Bean with Bacon Condensed Soup. Oh man. Smoky, a little thick, tastes like home. I don’t remember ever seeing an actual piece of bacon in there, but it was still delicious.

Bean without Bacon Soup - A homemade vegetarian version of the popular canned bean with bacon soup. You won't miss the bacon - promise! Vegan/dairy-free option.

The lack of actual bacon pieces, however, kind of can mean it lends itself well to a homemade vegetarian version. Right?! Thanks to smoked paprika and fresh rosemary, this Bean without Bacon Soup tastes plenty smoky.

This is a super duper simple soup to whip up. First, a little saute for the veggies – with both butter and olive oil (a bit of both gives the final soup a little more oomph, but you can skip the butter for a vegan version and still be plenty happy). And then some garlic, spices, broth, beans, and a bit of a simmer. Puree for a thickened, full-bodied soup without roux or cream (did I mention this is a pretty healthy soup, all told?) – and then stir in a few more beans for texture.

Bean without Bacon Soup - A homemade vegetarian version of the popular canned bean with bacon soup. You won't miss the bacon - promise! Vegan/dairy-free option.

Voila. Who needs cans and bacon? Not us, man! Not us.

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Bean without Bacon Soup

A homemade vegetarian version of the popular canned bean with bacon soup. You won’t miss the bacon – promise!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter (or substitute 2 tablespoons olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth*
  • 3 cups + 1 1/2 cups cooked great northern or cannellini beans (or 3 [15-ounce] cans, drained and rinsed), divided
  • Additional salt and pepper, to taste
  • Additional olive oil, smoked paprika, and/or chopped fresh rosemary for garnish, if desired

 

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and carrots and saute, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, rosemary, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the broth and 3 cups (or 2 cans) of beans. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the veggies are tender and the soup has reduced a bit, 15-20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple of minutes until safe to handle. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender, puree the soup. Return to the pan and return to medium-low heat.
  3. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) beans. Stir to combine. Return to a simmer until the beans are heated through.
  4. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil, a dusting of smoked paprika, and/or a few chopped fresh rosemary leaves, if desired.
  6. Soup keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

* I call for low-sodium broth so that you can better control the amount of salt in the overall soup. If you have full-sodium broth, I recommend reducing or omitting the 1/2 teaspoon salt and then adding some if you find it needs it at the end of the recipe.

Dairy-free/vegan option:

Use olive oil (3 tablespoons total) instead of butter.

All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

More simple vegetarian soup recipes:

Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.