Bacon and bean soup

Posted on: 16 September 2014 by Gareth Hargreaves

Sweet vegetables, tangy smokiness of bacon in one seriously hearty and comforting soup.

bacon and bean soup

Because I prefer to cook ad hoc, shunning the recipe books, there are times when the outcome of my efforts is more miss than hit. However, this take on bacon and bean soup is most definitely a hit. Soups made from leftovers are as good as those made from scratch. This recipe is a mixture of both.

Cook out the sweet potato, squash onions and half of the beans, and then use a hand blender to puree, this forms the base of the recipe. I like this soup to have a bit of texture to it, so I leave the remainder of the beans and bacon intact to provide hearty body to the soup. This is personal choice, so if you prefer a smoother soup, give it another swish with the hand belnder to achieve the consistency you like.  

Serves 5/6



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 onions
  • 250g bacon – smokey/streaky/back (entirely up to you!)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 butternut squash halved
  • 1 cup chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1 tin cannellini beans
  • 1 can borlotti beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1stick of celery
  • 1 bay leaf

Optional – a nice glug of red wine or balsamic vinegar

To serve

2 crusty baguettes

Salt and pepper to taste


Add the oil to a large deep pan and sweat the onions and celery until they are soft; add the garlic and continue to sweat over a low heat for three to four minutes. (If using streaky bacon add some of the rind at this stage, too.)  

Pour in the stock along with the squash, sweet potato and half of the beans; bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer for 30minutes.

With a hand blender (or a potato masher ) puree the vegetables until smooth. Pour in the remaining cannellini and borlotti beans and throw in the bay leaf.

Chop the bacon into 1cm squares and add to the pan.

Cook for a further 30 minutes adding water more water as needed.


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