This simple bean with bacon soup is better than the canned version by far and ready in just about 30 minutes. Hearty and delicious!
I have always had a fondness for Bean with Bacon soup. I was raised on the canned version :) Let me tell you though, this version is so much better! And beyond being hearty and delicious, this homemade bean with bacon soup is quick and easy, too!
Starting with canned beans means this soup comes together quickly, so you can be enjoying a bowl in no time!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Bacon – regular bacon is all you need here or you can omit for a vegetarian soup (or try veggie bacon!)
Chicken broth – or use vegetable broth for a vegetarian soup.
Canned navy beans – I love this soup with canned navy beans, but pinto beans would also work with this soup.
Cornstarch – (or arrowroot starch) to thicken the soup
- I like to thicken this soup a couple of ways. First, I use my immersion blender to break it up just a bit (a potato masher would work, as well). Then, if I still want it thicker, I will thicken the broth with a bit of cornstarch (or arrowroot starch, if you prefer).
- If you happen to have some Liquid Smoke around (we did and I have no idea why or when we bought it!), a few drops adds a great smokiness to this soup.
- This soup is even better after sitting in the fridge for a few hours, so don’t hesitate to make this one ahead and re-heat.
- This soup should freeze well.
- Finally, though I have used canned beans here, you can certainly start with dried beans and soak/cook ahead, then add to the soup per the recipe.
Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing
This soup can be made ahead, refrigerated and re-heated. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Bean soups freeze very well. Store in an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months.
Get the Recipe: Simple Bean with Bacon Soup
- 2 slices bacon, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup carrot, finely diced into about 1/4-inch dice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 19 oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed
- Bay leaf
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: 1-2 drops of Liquid Smoke
- Optional: 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, or arrowroot starch mixed with 2 Tbsp. water, to thicken
- In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until almost crisp.
- Add the onion and carrot to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onions are tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.
- Add the broth, navy beans and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and gently simmer until the carrots are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Using an immersion blender or a potato masher, lightly blend or mash the soup just a bit (you want to have whole beans left). If you'd like your soup a little thicker, add the cornstarch/water mixture to soup and cook over medium heat, stirring until soup thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary (add more salt/pepper/tomato paste, to taste).
More Bean Soup Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!