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!
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.
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.
Voila. Who needs cans and bacon? Not us, man! Not us.
Bean without Bacon Soup
A homemade vegetarian version of the popular canned bean with bacon soup. You won’t miss the bacon – promise!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) beans. Stir to combine. Return to a simmer until the beans are heated through.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil, a dusting of smoked paprika, and/or a few chopped fresh rosemary leaves, if desired.
- 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.
Use olive oil (3 tablespoons total) instead of butter.
More simple vegetarian soup recipes:
- 5-Ingredient Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup – so easy and full of so much flavor.
- Simple Lentil Vegetable Soup – a seriously satisfying bowlful.
- 25-Minute Comforting Vegetable Soup – love how quickly this one comes together.
- Slow-Cooker 5-Ingredient Thai Butternut Squash Soup – this might just be my easiest soup recipe ever.
- Chickpea & Rice Soup – even chicken lovers love this one.