Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
These meals are intended to be a relatively simple and healthy weeknight meal for a family of four. We assume that these dinners are being made in a kitchen stocked with regular kitchen staples. We will not include prices of oil, sugar, flour, spices, etc. unless you need a 1/4 cup or more. Regional food prices may vary and can be reduced by smart shopping techniques.
This recipe is a version of a childhood favorite of mine, Campbell's Bean with Bacon Soup. This recipe will leave you lots of leftovers and will be just as good the second day, maybe even better. The whole family really liked it. Even my picky nine year old said "It was actually not too bad".
|1 lb. small navy beans (or two cans)||$2.00|
|1 yellow onion||$.99|
|3-4 cloves garlic||$.33|
|3 stalks celery||$.50|
|chicken base (or bouillon)*||$.50|
|1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)||$.65|
|1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled (appx 6 slices)||$1.50|
|Total Cost = $6.97|
*You can use chicken stock or broth in place of bouillon. A ham or pork flavored broth or base would work well, too. If you have a bone from a Christmas or Easter ham, use it to make stock for a soup like this.
Cook your bacon first and set aside. In this case, I already had leftover bacon from an earlier breakfast. Finely chop onion, celery and carrots into "bean" sized pieces. Mince or press 2-3 garlic cloves. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil (or use some reserved bacon fat) to a stock pot or Dutch oven. Heat oil to medium low then add vegetable mixture. Add garlic after onions start to "sweat".
When onions are translucent and carrots are softened, add water and chicken base (to make 4-6 cups of broth), beans, tomato paste, bacon, 1 Tbsp. vinegar, 1 tsp. thyme and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer on low, stirring occasionally until the beans are softened, usually 2 1/2 to 3 hours. When they are done, take an immersion blender and puree about half the soup pot. If you don't have an immersion blender, you could use a potato masher, blend the hot soup in your regular blender (take the center part of the lid off to let the steam escape), or just leave it chunky. The longer you cook it, the more it will break down and be like the canned Campbells soup.
Give the soup a final taste, adding more spices and salt and pepper to taste. If you like a creamier soup, add 1/4 cup of milk or cream to the pot before serving.
By jessEditor's Note: With uncooked beans, more water is usually desired. I have increased the water/broth range to 6 cups. If you are using canned beans, 4 will be plenty.
Do you really use a whole 6 oz can of tomato paste? My soup looks so red.
Souper quick and souper easy ;-)
Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper or cloth towel, let cool and break into small pieces.
Return the saucepan with bacon drippings to medium heat, add the celery, onion, and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until celery and onion are just tender, stirring well.
Add the beans and water and bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Uncover and partially mash the bean mixture until it thickens slightly. Stir in the parsley, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste and serve.
By Deeli from Richland, WA
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I am wondering if 4 cups of water is correct for bean soup with bacon. When I make soup using 1 lb. of beans I use 3 qts of water. Please advise.
By Doris from Parma, OH
Doris, I think you are referring to my Bean with Bacon soup recipe that I posted in the Recipe Newsletter recently. As the beans have already been soaked before cooking, the 4 cups makes a nice brothy soup. Of course, you can always add more or less.
To tell you the truth I don't think it matters. Do you like your soup thicker or thinner? It's a matter of personal taste.
You have a proportion of water to dried beans that you use for bean soup; why would it be different for bean soup with bacon? The bacon itself would not affect the amount of water you use. Is there something special about this dish, is it thicker or thinner than your regular bean soup? Does it have other ingredients that would make it thicker or thinner?
I think it will depend on the beans you are using more than anything. If they are already cooked, then maybe 2-3 cups of of beans will be OK with or without bacon and 4 cups of water. That would make a good thick soup.
If you are cooking a pound of dried beans from scratch, you'll need those 3 quarts of water as the beans will soak up a lot of it, and some will evaporate in the cooking process.
I would have to see the entire recipe before giving you a better answer.
Good Luck anyway. Try looking up the recipe for Senate Bean Soup and use that recipe as a good guide. It's one of the best. Supposedly, it's served every day the Senate is in session in the USA.
Pookarina is right re Senate Bean Soup. That is the recipe I always make. When I saw this one I thought I might try to make it. But it appears something or a step is missing as I know from experience that 4 cups of water is not sufficient for 1 lb. beans even if it would be a very thick soup. Thanks anyway.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Mix cooked beans, veggies and ham together. To each quart add 1 tsp. salt. Yield: about 16 qt. Pressure cook at 10 lb. pressure for 1 hour.
By Robin from Washington, IA