Bean and Bacon Soup
This Bean and Bacon Soup Recipe is the perfect thing for busy weeknights. It’s healthy with lots of protein and fiber but also so tasty (did I mention the bacon?). Best of all, it’s ready from start to finish in under 15 minutes.
Do you know what the most popular bean is in the U.S.? I guessed kidney beans because I know that chili is such a popular dish. But it’s pinto beans. I’m guessing it’s because they’re the ones used to make refried beans. I could seriously eat a can (or two!) of refried beans every day. If every American is like me, then the reason for pinto bean’s popularity is clear. They are just so good. And healthy too.
Pinto beans, like most other kinds of beans, are a great source of protein. They come in at 15 grams per cup, which is more than half what a child requires in a full day (it’s about one-third of what an average teen or grown woman requires and one quarter what an average teen or grown man needs). When you think of it that way, it’s certainly worth trying to get pinto beans into your diet regularly.*
Today’s Bean and Bacon Soup Recipe is all about the protein. The beans, bacon and vegetables come together in 15 minutes to make a substantial meal that everyone loves.
This soup is especially loved by my husband. My mom used to make a similar soup at her restaurant and my husband would eat bowl after bowl of it. If he wasn’t at the restaurant on Bean and Bacon Soup Day, my mom would send some home for him to have for dinner. He sure has a nice mother-in-law, doesn’t he?
This soup recipe is part of my SOUPin15 Series where every week I’m sharing a new soup that’s ready in 15 minutes or less. All of these recipes come with a Souper Tip, the ingredient or technique that makes them so delicious so quickly. For this soup, the tip is matchstick carrots. You buy these in the produce department in plastic bags. They’re usually right beside the bags of baby carrots. They’re wonderful for quick dinners because you don’t have to peel the carrots or cut them. And for quick soups, they’re a miracle because their small size results in a really short cooking time.
If you’re looking for more healthy bean soup recipes, you’ll also want to check out this recipe for black bean soup.
And now, here’s my quick Bean and Bacon Soup recipe. See you in 15!
Bean and Bacon Soup
The key to the quick-cooking of this soup is to use matchstick carrots, which you buy already in little matchstick pieces so they cook up really quickly. Before starting this recipe, read it through. As you read, gather together all the ingredients, pots, pans and tools that you will need so that everything is at your fingertips before you start. See you in 15! Yield: 10 cups
2 and ½ cups low sodium or no-sodium chicken stock, divided
3 (16 oz.) cans low-sodium pinto beans (undrained)
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (I prefer petite diced), with juice
1 cup matchstick carrots
3 Tbsp. maple syrup, divided
1 Tbsp. chili powder
6 strips bacon
2 Tbsp. flour
Put a large skillet over medium-low heat.
Put a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. To it add 2 cups of the chicken broth, pinto beans (with liquid), diced tomatoes (with juice), carrots, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and the chili powder. Stir, cover and heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, add the bacon in a single layer to the preheated skillet. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook until not quite crispy, flipping occasionally.
While bacon cooks, put flour in a mason jar and add the remaining ½ cup of chicken broth. Put the lid on tightly and shake it all around until well-mixed.
Transfer bacon to a cutting board. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat. Add the contents of the mason jar to the fat in the pan. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until smooth and bubbling. Use a spatula to transfer the flour mixture to the soup. Stir well. Continue to let the soup simmer as you chop the bacon and add it to the soup.
Taste the broth and add salt and pepper if desired. Continue to cook the soup at a simmer stirring occasionally until the carrots are softened. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and serve.
*The info about protein in pinto beans comes from Self Nutrition Data, info about daily protein requirements comes from WebMD and info about the popularity of pinto beans comes from Wikipedia.
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