Tomato, White Bean, Bacon Soup

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

In spite of the unusually poor tomato season this summer (mild summer translates into not enough heat for their ripening) we have still managed a bountiful harvest from our garden. And while the taste of our raw garden tomatoes might be oddly unspectacular at the moment, they still cook up into something wonderful.

Tomato White Bean Bacon Soup

Of course, in our book everything is better with bacon, which is probably why we like this soup so much. Yukon Gold potatoes are preferred because they hold their shape well and don’t disintegrate into the soup the way Russets can.

Tomato, White Bean, Bacon Soup Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10

We've used canned white beans here for their convenience. If you want you can take this soup up a notch and use dry beans that you've soaked overnight and cooked until soft.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups peeled (about 3/4 lb), chopped potatoes (recommend Yukon Gold)
  • 6 cups peeled, chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned whole tomatoes with juice)*
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste

* To peel fresh tomatoes, cut a shallow cross on one end, blanch in boiling water for about 30 seconds, remove from boiling water and the peels should easily come off.

Method

1 Cook bacon: Cook bacon on medium heat in a large thick-bottomed pot (5 to 6 quart) until lightly browned and fat is rendered.

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Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from the pan. Set on a plate lined with a paper towel. Drain off all but 1 Tbsp of bacon fat.

2 Sauté onion and garlic, add potatoes: Add the chopped onion to the pot, cook in the bacon fat on medium heat until soft.

Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

Add the chopped peeled potatoes and cook a few minutes more.

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3 Add tomatoes, stock, simmer: Add the tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes (or longer).

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4 Add beans, blend half the soup: Stir in the brown sugar. Add half of the beans to the mixture. Use an immersion blender to blend about half of the soup mixture (or blend half of the soup in a standing blender and return to the pot).

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5 Add bacon, remaining beans: Add bacon to the soup and the rest of the beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crusty bread.

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Recipe adapted from one submitted by Verrill Farm for The Best of Tastes cookbook fundraiser for Concord Family Service.

Tomato White Bean Bacon Soup

Showing 4 of 35 Comments

  • ap duffy

    so many tomatoes, so little stomach!!! Made this last night sans bacon with home made veggie stock, but slipped in some sweet carrots from local farm…delish!!! Thanks for another winner Elise!!!

  • Janie Pedigo

    I do not cook much, unless its extremely easy,and I was craving a soup with similar ingredients that a friend made. I just finished a bowl and I feel like a gourmet cook!! It’s delicious! I omitted the beans because my daughter won’t eat anything if it has a bean in it and it’s still fabulous! I love the brown sugar flavor! Thanks Elise!! Wish I made more to share with family!!

  • amanda

    Just wanted to chime in on how much we enjoyed this recipe. We used garden fresh tomatoes and the last of our homegrown potatoes and some veggie stock I had made the day before. This soup was so incredibly warming and filling. We served it with grilled ham and gruyere sandwiches. A perfect fall dinner! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kris

    I live with a person who doesn’t eat mammals (!?) so I omitted the bacon and warmed up 1 tsp of smoked Spanish paprika with the onions and garlic before adding the potatoes. I also put in a sprig of rosemary while the potatoes were cooking and removed it before pureeing. I used dried beans and cooked the whole bag with a bayleaf and froze what I didn’t use (we’ll see how they stand up post freezing!) I measured out about 2 c. of soaked beans and added them to the pot with the tomatoes because they’d need the extra cooking time. I also salted during the cooking process because (in retrospect) everything I used was homemade and had little to no salt in it.

    Maybe this will give some vegetarians out there some ideas about how to modify.

    All in all, the soup is fantastic! Thanks Elise.

  • Katie

    Rather than use bacon, I sauteed the onions in olive oil, and added shredded chicken at the end. I didn’t even peel the tomatoes, and it still turned out great!

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