Red Bean and Bacon Soup

Nuvita Biscuits


  • 1/2 pound lean bacon (about 8 slices), cut into 1/2-inches pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 pound red beans such as kidney or pinto, soaked in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches overnight or quick-soaked (procedure follows) and drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth plus, if desired, additional for thinning the soup
  • a 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes, drained, reserving the juice, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup medium-dry Sherry
  • chopped scallion greens as an accompaniment
  • sour cream as an accompaniment


In a heavy kettle cook the bacon over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is crisp, transfer it to paper towels to drain, and reserve it. Pour off all but 1/4 cup of the fat and in the remaining fat cook the onion, the garlic, the bay leaf, the chili powder, the cumin seed, and the cayenne, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the celery, the carrot, the beans, 4 cups of the broth, and 2 cups water and simmer the soup, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes with the reserved juice and simmer the soup, covered, for 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and force the soup in batches through a food mill into a large saucepan. Stir in the Sherry, salt and pepper to taste, and the additional broth or water to thin the soup to the desired consistency, simmer the soup for 5 minutes, and serve it with the reserved bacon, the scallion greens, and the sour cream.

To quick-soak dried beans:
In a colander rinse the beans under cold water and discard any discolored ones. In a kettle combine the beans with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and boil the beans for 2 minutes. Remove the kettle from the heat and let the beans soak, covered, for 1 hour.


Recipe Comments

  1. posted by NC Baller on Mar 16, 2013

    besides tortilla soup and like roast? i love to cook, but for days that i need to just throw something in the crockpot while i am at work, i need some new ideas. i do the tortilla soup, i do roast, i do chicken with bell peppers……so i need something new and different. please help!

  2. posted by johnkaiser 22 on Mar 16, 2013

    I just became a vegetarian two weeks ago and my mom never makes vegetarian-only meals except for pasta, so basically I have been eating steamed vegetables for dinner every night. We never eat beans or tofu, and the vegetables are usually low nutrition like red peppers and cauliflower. I’m 16 so i’m going to the store today to see if I can buy some easy and nutritious vegetarian meals. Any ideas? I’m tired of eating burrito’s and stir-frys.

  3. posted by D3ZZY on Mar 17, 2013

    I have a lot of spices, but don’t really know what would go well with kidney beans.

  4. posted by josh12rox on Mar 17, 2013

    Other than green bean casserole, add them to soups/stews, hamburger helper, adding them to casseroles and eating them as a side dish?

  5. posted by Jeracoo L on Mar 18, 2013

    I need soemthing that its very cheap and filling that little children will enjoy.

  6. posted by hank baseballs on Mar 18, 2013

    I’m looking to make some soup but I’m fresh out of ideas.
    I guess I should have added that I’m looking for recipes.

  7. posted by RichT on Mar 18, 2013

    I have an abundance of the red, white and pinto beans, all dry. Does anyone have a recipe using these beans or combination thereof? I can cook them any way but a pressure cooker. Thanks for your help!

  8. posted by timq3dimensionscom on Mar 19, 2013

    I need one for tomorrow (Wednesday) night. What’s your favorite?

  9. posted by Jerosh Nagulachandran on Mar 19, 2013

    I live in central california and today is the first day of rain.
    I think its a good idea to start using the crock pot for this rainy day weather
    Do you have a good slow cooker recipe for soups and or chili’s?
    Thank You in advance :)

  10. posted by everydayGuitarist on Mar 19, 2013

    Got tombs of white, globe onions – they are mild. Been making tons of quiche and fried with bacon and string beans. Could I somehow use them as a side dish? Got a recipe or any idea?

  11. posted by Mackenzie P on Mar 19, 2013

    Whenever my mum arrives home later than normal, I usually just have a ready-made meal from the supermarket, but I want to try something different. I’m a decent cook, able to follow instructions etc, and I like basically all food.

    So does anyone know some simple recipies that I can make, mainly using basic ingredients most people would have in their fridges?

    Thanks to anyone who replies.

  12. posted by Willie on Mar 19, 2013

    All the recipes I have found are for soupy ham and beans.

  13. posted by Bryant B on Mar 20, 2013

    I should start out saying I’m no country cook by a great mile. The way I’ve always made it like my dad did, I start by cooking diced potatoes until they’re tender but still firm, then make a white sauce and add the potatoes, some bacon or ham, onions and yellow wax beans. It’s good but always a little starchy. I use either cornstarch or flour to make the sauce, whichever is handy. Is that my problem? The excellent cooks here have always given me good advice in the past, so I’m counting on you!

  14. posted by Christopher J on Mar 20, 2013

    im trying to make 15-bean soup with a ham hock and veggies. any suggestions? im just wingin it.

  15. posted by Brody S on Mar 20, 2013

    I got the 15 bean soup dry beans bag, and the instructions say to clean the bag of debris.

    How do I do this? It seems like a pain. Do I have to take each bean out of the bag?

    Can I dump them in a metal strainer and rinse?

    How do you clean the beans without it being a hassle?


  16. posted by Bryan J on Mar 20, 2013

    Red Potatoes
    Potato Soup
    Canned Corn
    Fresh Onion
    Fresh Tomatoes
    Fresh Cilantro
    Green Beans
    Lots of seasonings

    Any help would be appreciated, I’m not much of a cook, but tonight I need to cook something, I just am no good at coming up with recipes, when I do they taste like caca.

    Thanks in Advance, could you also include any special instructions I might need as to not screw it up.

  17. posted by MentallyCryppled on Mar 21, 2013

    I am just getting started and would like to find a recipe book with easy recipes with non processed foods. Or if someone has any easy great tasting recipes, that would be great also. High protein / low carb and fat would be great as well.

  18. posted by maskills24 on Mar 21, 2013

    Tide cold water says for cold water…cant you use any liquid detergent tho in cold water and it will eb effective. Is this a good thing or a scam?

  19. posted by Matthew on Mar 21, 2013

    are kidney beans from a can already cooked just need to be heated or are they considered raw?

  20. posted by kewlflame14 on Mar 21, 2013

    They are getting harder and harder to find!
    Like, low sodium bread, rolls hamburger buns, soups, boullion, broths, and tomato products, diced or crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce,etc.

    I have tried smaller grocery stores/markets, produce markets, and big chain grocery stores (Kroger, Mejier, Spartan, etc.!
    I even tried health food stores with no luck!!!

    I would greatly appreciate any suggestions!

  21. posted by gail C on Mar 22, 2013

    I’m a vegetarian, but I grew up in the South, and bacon and bacon grease were in our bean soups, split-pea soups, collards, gravies. So while I don’t miss murdering hogs, I do miss whatever ingredient was in the pork that gave it the “bacon” flavor–I know it didn’t come from the flesh itself. Anyone know what spices are used to create that flavor?

  22. posted by johnkaiser 22 on Mar 22, 2013

    I was feeling curious because i have a bunch of stuff in my cupboard that don’t go together so weird it up MAN something with baked beans would be cool loll

    best answer that i bake and like will win 10 points so gimme pointers on making it

  23. posted by unbleevable39 on Mar 22, 2013

    I have a huge bottle of Chi-Chi’s Salsa left that I want to use up before the end of this year. I am hoping to cook dishes that are rich in veggies and beans and complement whole grains. Thank you in advance!

  24. posted by Bryan J on Mar 23, 2013

    im not much of a good cook but i want to know what food is easy to cook for uni:like mac and cheese, noodles and so on. i would really appreciate it if you could give me some tips and recipes.. thank you!

  25. posted by Cole on Mar 23, 2013

    Im making an alternative cook-book and would like recipes that are made often.
    For people who wish to be aggressive and not helpful at all, this post was to explain the nature of the book. The alternative i mentioned is for people who cannot tolerate certain foods, so you alter favorites to suit their needs. No need to be rude for a simple question. Many thanks to those who do offer wonderful suggestions and not haggling over the nature of the question that they so narrow mindedly attack.

  26. posted by slipknot0129 on Mar 23, 2013

    I get a lot of exercise from running 5-6 milesa day plus 15 minutes of yoga. But after my work day, I am soooo hungry that I eat junk such as cookies, cake etc. All this is putting on belly fat. I NEVER had any belly fat all my life and my exercise routine does not seem to help because of my unhealthy eating.

    I eat a good break fast and a good lunch, I’m still hungry by the time it is 6 pm

    What are your tips to avoid such foods? Can this hunger itself be avoided?
    I am a vegetarian, I forgot to add. Sorry.

  27. posted by henryshensbcglobalnet on Mar 23, 2013

    my boyfriend and i just bought a house we are finally unpacked and having my family over for a bbq but i have no idea what to make besides the meat. it was easier when my mom told me what to bring when we went to her house. i need side dish ideas!! please help. i want them to have a good first impression of my home.

  28. posted by Mistry on Mar 23, 2013

    I put beans on my salad, and like Lima beans and ham hocks, but I don’t know of any other ways to make beans that taste good.

  29. posted by alberto s on Mar 23, 2013

    I’m trying an experiment now with the leaves, baking them into some cheddar bread. I’m planning on mixing the leaves into a spinach salad as well. And I plan on trying them with potatoes and bacon tomorrow.

    Any good recipes anyone can share?

  30. posted by ttocs on Mar 23, 2013

    I got a slow cooker for christmas, but I have only used it three times because all these recipes are 15 ingrediants long! Anyone know any slowcooker recipes with VERY FEW ingrediants? Like, four or five or less?

  31. posted by MAK & CHEESE on Mar 23, 2013

    Looking for some quick, delicious meals that are not too expensive. Please, no hamburger helper ideas.
    Everything sounds delicious so far. Thanks everybody that contributed. It’s a lifesaver.

  32. posted by borabora5524 on Mar 23, 2013

    We are making a whole chicken BBQ style.. We always remove the skin, and then we put butter and garlic/ onion powder on it, and poke holes in it so it seepes into the chicken… After it cooks for awhile we put the barbeque on …Does this sound good??
    What two sides could we make?

  33. posted by Big Banger on Mar 24, 2013

    I know the famous white trash version, with the condensed soup and the French’s onions, but I want an alternative. Anyone know how I can retain this concept (and still use the onions) without using condensed soup? I avoid it because of the sodium, plus I’d rather use less processed ingredients. Except for the onion bits.

  34. posted by Benihana on Mar 24, 2013

    Well I actually have 2 cans of beans. One can of small red beans & one large can of kidney beans. I was going to make baked beans but I don’t have any bacon or molasses. I don’t have any meat either. What could I make?

  35. posted by Tyler H on Mar 24, 2013

    My family is a very big Italian family. So I like to cook my food and have it taste good too. School lunches are terrible, so I was wondering if there were any Italian recipes I could take to school. Anything like soup because I have a thermos or something that doesn’t need heating.

  36. posted by opurt on Mar 25, 2013

    I want to make something really yummy for a work party. It can’t be anything that has to stay cold because I have no way to keep it chilled. However, it can be something that needs to be hot as long as it is something that can be put in a crock pot. Our main dish is going to BBQ Roast sandwiches so I’d like to make something that will go well with that. I don’t like bringing desserts because everyone else always brings desserts. Thanks for any suggestions.

  37. posted by happyha31 on Mar 25, 2013

    Well I am a college student that is moving on my own. I’d like to see what are some good budget meals i can make. I hate eatting out because how pricey it is. BTW these meals should be for 2 people.

  38. posted by Malcolm Hudson on Mar 25, 2013

    I was raised in a meat-loving family so I never was used to eating salads, nor do I know how to make vegetarian meals.
    Now I have a medical condition that requires me to lay off red meat completely, and to have very minimal white meat.
    I’m allowed to have some free range fish and eggs, but the diet is supposed to be based on vegies, lentils, chick peas, and such.
    Please share some of your vegetarian recipes or links to help me out.
    Thanks :)

  39. posted by Roflcopter on Mar 25, 2013

    I have acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. I cannot eat anything spicey or with any kind of peppers in it. Can I make a vegetarian Black Bean soup that tastes good without tomatoes, cayene, or anything else spicey or highly acidic? I can eat onions and garlic just no tomatoes, peppers, or chili powder.

  40. posted by Beavis on Mar 25, 2013

    I’m looking for some easy, good vegetarian and vegan recipes that use the vegetables that are in season.

    Thanks for your help.

  41. posted by Ed D on Mar 25, 2013

    My Carribean friend said his mum used Okra to thicken stews and soups.
    But he did not know how much was used.
    How do I use it and how do I prepare it?

  42. posted by SteveO on Mar 25, 2013

    I’m kind of tired of cooking the same things over and over again so I need some new recipes. We’re not strapped for cash but I do like saving money where I can so I know there are cheaper meal ideas out there. Aside from spaghetti, any suggestions? There is just myself, my husband, and our two year old whom I have to say doesn’t eat a lot these days!
    Thanks so far, guys, great ideas and something new to try.

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