Beans are Better with Bacon

Yesterday I made fresh pasta. Awesome. It’s easy to make (3 cups of flour, 4 eggs gently mixed together with a fork to form a dough, rest for twenty minutes and then run it through a noodle cutter — my Kitchenaid pasta attachment is super fast).

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I let it dry on the rack…

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made some (boiled in water for six minutes) and tossed it with tomato sauce — perfect. Delicate and light.

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I got a rude awakening when I went to put the dried pasta away, there was no room in my cupboards. Most of that space was taken up by store bought pasta.. and a lot of forgotten food.

It’s cold out and I want to eat soup all the time. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup, but I am ashamed to say that I buy a lot of canned soup even though soup is so easy to make. I usually keep a few cans in the cupboard, but the keeping with the idea to use what I have — with navy beans among the forgotten food and bacon taking up space in my refrigerator — I decided that I should just try to make bean with bacon soup from scratch.

Bean with Bacon Soup

  • 1 ½ cups dried navy beans, cooked and drained
  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and red pepper flakes to taste

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In a two quart pot, heat the bacon over medium heat. When all of the fat has rendered, add the onions (and garlic??). When the onions are soft and translucent, add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes have cooked down, add the broth, water and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about an hour.

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Transfer about half of the beans and vegetables to a blender jar and puree. Add the puree back to the pot and continue to cook for about 15 more minutes. Season to taste.

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This isn’t exactly like the Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup, but it’s pretty darn close and easy to make. It’s perfect for a chilly afternoon, though it’s hard to pair with other food. I thought I’d eat mine with toast and lots of butter.

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Eating my way through cabinets won’t be so bad.

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