Bean with Bacon Soup

bean with bacon soup ~ bowl of soup with spoonful showing beans lifted

Soup | January 21, 2016 | By

Bean with Bacon Soup recipe made with or without a ham bone. Hearty, packed with beans and bacon – so much flavor and perfect for a cold, winter day.

I love how food can transport you to another time. For me, this Bean with Bacon Soup does it. My childhood favorite came directly from the Campbell’s Soup kitchen.

Thick and extra salty using less water than the instructions recommended. Topped off with a fistful of smashed saltines until it acquired the consistency of mashed potatoes. It warmed my insides on many cold winter days.

This Bean with Bacon Soup recipe is like the one I grew up on, but better. Way better.

bean with bacon soup ~ bowl of soup garnished with fresh thyme

Several years ago, feeling nostalgic I bought a can from the grocery store. True to form, I added only half the recommended amount of water and smashed my adult-size fistful of saltines onto the top and couldn’t wait to dig in!

The first bite was disappointing. That canned soup just wasn’t doing it anymore.

My husband suggested I make my own from the leftover ham from Easter dinner. So I carefully ziplocked the bone, stuck it in the refrigerator. . .and forgot about it until such time as I threw it away.

bean with bacon soup ~ bowl of soup with spoonful showing close up of beans.


I repeated the process several times over the years until I something by Lori at Fake Food Free who practices three words to guide her year. One of her words this year is ‘DO‘.

“Do. I spend a lot of time thinking about things and planning for them. . .

This year I really need to remember that nothing is going to happen or change unless I actually do something. It’s time to set many things I’ve been thinking about into action”. 

Lori kickstarted my intentions with her simple words and I finally ~ finally ~ made this Bean with Bacon Soup. The recipe has two options because frankly, not everyone has a ham bone lying around.

The first option is use the ham bone with less bacon. A second option is no ham bone, more bacon. You’ll have delicious, rich flavor with either method.


Add the chopped bacon to the pot over medium heat then cook until crispy. Remove the bacon and reserve, leaving the dripping in the pot.

bean 1

Drop in the carrots, celery and onion then season with salt and pepper, grate the garlic over the top and add the thyme. Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until carrots are softened.

bean 3

Add the ham bone if you’re using one then fold in the tomato paste and cook 2-3 minutes.
bean 4Pour in the chicken stock and drained beans then cover and simmer 30 minutes. 

bean 5

Using an immersion blender, pulse in several places of the pot leaving some of the beans whole. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes then fold in the bacon and parsley.

Easy. Delicious. No fistful of crunched saltines required. Enjoy!

If you tried this Bean with Bacon Soup recipe or any other on the blog, don’t forget to leave a comment or star rating ~ I love hearing from you! Looking for another easy Bean Soup recipe? Try this Black Bean Soup with just FIVE ingredients!

bean with bacon soup ~ pin for pinterest ~ bowl of soup garnished with fresh thyme

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bean with bacon soup ~ bowl of soup with spoonful showing close up of beans.

Bean with Bacon Soup

Bean with Bacon Soup ~ like the can stuff from childhood but better. Way, way better.
PIN for later!
Print Recipe
CourseMain Course, Soup
KeywordHomemade Bean Soup like Campbell's
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
AuthorA Gouda Life


  • 1/3 pound thick cut Applewood smoked bacon 1/2 pound if not using ham bone
  • ham bone optional
  • 1 cup onions diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cans Great Northern beans drained but not rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley chopped


  • Cook the bacon in a soup pot or Dutch oven until crisp.
  • Remove the bacon from the pot, leaving the drippings in the pot.
  • Add carrots, celery and onions (+ham bone if using). Grate garlic over the top and add thyme then season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until carrots are softened.
  • Add the tomato paste, blend and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken stock and drained beans.
  • Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, pulse several times leaving some beans whole.
  • Simmer uncovered 10 minutes.
  • Add the parsley and chopped bacon.


  1. Leave a Reply

    January 28, 2016

    I couldn’t agree more with the “DO” attitude. I have a similar mantra this year – although a little different. I’m trying to be intentional – trying to stop wasting so much time with “looking at facebook” or “zoning out and endlessly searching google for this and that” – etc. Trying to be more intentional about my eating too – which brings me to your recipe! Using that hambone really takes “modifying your food waste” to a next level. It is what our grandmothers did because they had too – it is what we SHOULD do because we SHOULD! Great recipe! I agree about the canned soups – what happened? lol. Take care!

    • Leave a Reply

      January 29, 2016

      Hi Wendi – your mantra to be more intentional is inspirational – could definitely use this in my life — I too spend more time than I should on FB and Googling the answers to things I probably don’t need to know anyway! Thank you so much for your kind words about my recipe — and thanks for staying in touch!

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