In the past week, the temperatures have started to warm up and I am loving the first signs of Spring. But, I’m not yet ready to bid farewell to my favorite soup- in fact, I think this soup works year-round.
This tomato bacon soup is a modified version of a recipe I found a few years back in a Rachael Ray magazine and has become a favorite in our household. It makes for a wonderful, hearty dinner, especially when paired with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Enjoy!
Yield: 8-10 servings
Fix Portions (per 1 cup serving): 1 green, ¼ yellow, ¼ red
- 4 slices turkey bacon (look for the kind without nitrates and preservatives)
- 1 large (32oz) can of crushed tomatoes (I recommend the Hunts All Natural kind with basil added. If you can't find that, regular crushed tomatoes are fine too)
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 fresno (red) chile pepper, finely chopped (remove most of the ribs and seeds- while this is more of a mild/medium heat level, you don’t want the spice to overpower the soup. You just want the flavor the pepper gives because in my opinion it really makes the dish!)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- ½ quart chicken stock (all natural, organic, low sodium is best)
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil and parsley (best with both, but either or works best too)
- Bay leaves (i just use a sprinkle of dried, but you can add a whole fresh bay leaf if you prefer)
- In a dutch oven, brown the bacon. Remove from pan. Finely chop.
- Add the chopped onion, garlic, and fresno to the same pan and saute until tender (you cook it in the pan drippings, but you might need to add a little EVOO depending on how much grease your bacon yielded. Alternatively, if theres more than 1-2 tbsp of bacon grease, I would remove some before sauteeing the veggies, so the soup isn’t overly greasy… just depends on your bacon that day). Season with salt, pepper, and bay leaves.
- Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook until heated through and beans are tender- I usually give it at least 3-4 hours on low, but it can cook all day too!
BonusI serve this with a grilled cheese on the side for dipping. The BEST cheese with this recipe is Boars Head 3-Pepper Colby Jack. It has a kick to it, so an alternative cheese might be better for kiddos, but its the perfect pairing!