It’s never too early in the fall season to start thinking about hearty soups (or about tasty recipes for leftover Thanksgiving turkey, YUM!). When the temperatures fall I’m dusting off the soup pot and filling it with wholesome vegetables, meats and seasonings. For me there’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of savory soup.
Check out the video link near the end of this post of my recent visit to KTVB’s Noon at News where I demonstrated how to make this tasty soup.
This soup is no exception. It’s a tomato based soup loaded with mild Great Northern beans, crispy bacon, diced turkey (or chicken if you don’t happen to have turkey), celery, carrots, onion and simple seasonings including bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Soups are nutritional jackpots. All the nutrients are contained in the pot; nothing escapes and in some cases nutrient content is concentrated with simmering like when you add handfuls of spinach or kale to soup and it wilts to a much smaller volume. Or when tomatoes are cooked and reduced in soups, the nutrient content increases. There are so many wonderful health bonuses to soup making.
I pulled up the ingredient label for Campbell’s popular Bean with Bacon soup. The list of added preservatives, thickeners and flavorings like MSG caught me off guard. Making this soup yourself is so much healthier since you know exactly what’s in it. And although the flavor of this soup is a lot like the canned version, the added diced turkey makes it much higher in protein and better suited to serve as your main meal.
I add a slice of whole grain bread with butter spread and that’s all I need. It’s my favorite comfort food on a cool fall or mid-winter’s night.
Here’s a video link of my recent visit to KTVB studios demonstrating how to make this tasty soup with adorable anchor Dee Sarton.
Adapted from www.thepioneerwoman
- Turkey and Bean with Bacon Soup
- 1/2 pound thick center-cut bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced carrots, about 2 large peeled
- 1 cup diced celery, about 2 large stalks
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken stock (I use Better Than Bouillon chicken base)
- 1 pound cooked and diced turkey breast (or chicken, if desired)
- 2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern White beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 whole bay leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Minced parsley
- Cook the bacon in a large soup pot placed over medium heat until just barely crisp. Remove to a paper towel.
- Drain the bacon grease from the pot, but don't wipe out the pot. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook until just beginning to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another minute or two. Add the chicken broth along with 2 cups of water. Add the diced turkey, beans and 2/3 of the cooked bacon, reserving the other 1/3 for garnish. Add the bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, uncovered for about 30 to 40 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about one-third. Stir occasionally and add more water if the liquid level gets too low.
- When ready to serve, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve with chopped reserved bacon and chopped parsley.
Cooked, diced chicken works really well if you don't have cooked turkey on hand.
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