Bean and Bacon Soup

While I've never had the canned version of this soup, I can easily say this version is a thousand times better. Everything is better homemade and this soup has so much flavor thanks to the bacon and yummy veggies! The pureed beans add a nice texture, too, which make it pure comfort in a bowl. I promise everyone will be sure to love this quick and easy soup!

Bean and Bacon Soup
Adapted from Cooking Classy
10 oz. smoked bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 large carrots, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
5 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3 (15 oz.) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed (about 5 cups if using dried beans)
kosher salt and black pepper
shredded mozzarella or string cheese broken into small pieces

1. Cook bacon in a large enameled cast iron pot until browned and crisp, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, while leaving 2 Tbsp. rendered bacon fat in pan. 
2. Heat drippings over medium-high heat and add onions and carrots. Sauté 4 minutes then add garlic and sauté 2 minutes longer.
3. Add in chicken broth, tomato paste, sugar, thyme and beans. 
4. Stir in 3/4 of the cooked bacon, while reserving remainder until ready to use. 
5. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft, about 30 minutes. 
6. Transfer 2 1/2 cups of the soup to a blender, cover with lid (while removing lids center insert and holding a folded kitchen towel over blender) blend until smooth. (You can also use an immersion blender.)
7. Stir pureed mixture back into soup. Serve warm topped with shredded cheese and bacon.


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