Spring is coming (and for some of us it feels like it’s been here for months already – hello, warm winter!), so you might not be thinking about soup for dinner. But this bacon bean soup is really too good not to share, no matter the seasons. It’s thick, smokey, comforting and easy to make. Serve it with some crusty bread, and you’ll think you died and went to heaven while eating a bowl.
I could be bias though, because I really love beans. It’s true that they have a reputation for not-so-desirable digestive side effects (the more you eat, the more you toot). BUT who cares? They taste delicious, and they’re nutritious.
Some of my favorite dishes are made with beans. Pasta fagioli. Bean salad. Chili. Bean dips. Pretty much anything with beans makes me happy. And bacon bean soup is no different: happiness in a bowl. A giant bowl, please.
Without further ado, here’s how to make bacon bean soup.
Start by chopping up a couple onions. Then mince about 5 cloves of garlic – or go crazy and mince as much as you like! In my opinion, there’s no such thing as too much garlic.
Fry the bacon in a big ole pot. Be careful not to burn the bacon, but make sure it’s nice and crisp. Set aside the crispy bacon, and resist the urge to eat it.
Spoon out some of the bacon grease, leaving a few tablespoons in the pot.
Add the onions and garlic and cook them in the bacon grease until they soften up and smell delicious. Then add in everything else: chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, parsley, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Crumble up the bacon. I prefer to use the best kitchen tool to do this – my hands – but feel free to keep your fingers clean and use a knife, if you’d like.
Toss the bacon into the soup, stir it all together, and then let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Sit back and let the magic happen (and stir occasionally).
If it’s getting too thick, add a little water.
After it’s simmered, serve bowls to your adoring fans. Warning: this recipe makes a lot, but you’ll probably still wish you had more.