LAB NOTES: Copycat Campbell’s Bean With Bacon Soup

Ahh The Memories….:
Hello everyone, I’m visiting my roots. This recipe is what kicked off my transformation from a home cook into the Mad Food Scientist and transformed my kitchen into the Domestic Culinary Lab. I have a lot of memories of this soup growing up. It was my Dad’s favourite and became mine too. I have so many memories tied to this soup so finding a version that I could make at home made me a bit excited. Sadly, where I found the recipe has been lost to the mists of time. However, there are a LOT of these copycat recipes floating around.  I’ll be honest, I never followed the recipe exactly as given to me. I’ll be honest, most recipes don’t survive untweaked when they come into my hands. So, if you decide to make this recipe. I’m not going to be standing in your kitchen demanding that you do it the exact way I do it. It’s YOUR kitchen, Your Soup, and there are NO rules!!
Just a friendly reminder: I am NOT a vegan…

2 cups/473 g dried navy beans..
6 strips bacon: Fried and crumbled.
3 carrots, peeled and diced.
3 stalks celery. Diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme: .
2 cloves garlic, minced.
4 ounces/113 g tomato paste..
1 dash crushed red pepper flakes. .
4 cups/946 ml water.
2 cups/473 ml ham stock.1 tablespoon wine vinegar.
3 drops liquid smoke, more if desired.
salt and pepper, to taste

Soak the beans in water overnight. Drain well.
Combine the soaked beans, bacon, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, garlic, tomato paste, crushed red pepper, water, and stock in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 3 hours or until the beans are tender.
Remove 1-2 cups of the soup and place in the blender. Open the feed tube in the lid of the blender to let steam release. Puree until smooth then return to the pot. Stir in the wine vinegar,and liquid smoke. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
 This is great with a crusty bread, or even better, a crusty cheesey bread.

LAB NOTES: 24 April, 2023
791g of seven different legumes soaked, rinsed, and drained.  I picked up a tip from The Meditteranean Dish YouTube channel when I was researching how to make falafel and hummus. Yes, there will be a post about making falafel and hummus in the future. Soak the beans for 24 hours with cold water and a teaspoon of baking soda, or baking powder. DO NOT skip the soaking step, it’s important because the soaking removes phytates that inhibit nutrient absorption.  
Water, I didn’t measure, I just until it looked right and wouldn’t risk overflowing the pot when at a boil..
2 Cups Extra creamy Split Pea Milk.
1 170g/6 oz can of Tomato paste: I just used the whole 170g can so it wouldn’t go to waste.
1 TBSP Ground Mustard
1 TBSP Marmite ( I decided to try this out in this batch ).
1 TBSP Better Than Bullion Roast Chicken soup base. I thank Azzie for klewing me in on how wonderful Better Than Bullion is!!
1 TBSP Powdered Hams Stock Soup Base.
1 TBSP Ground Cumin
1 TBSP Ground Ginger
3 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar. I usedApple Cider Vinegar as it’s what I have on hand.
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Red pepper flakes.
Oreganon. For the herbs, I just put in what looked “right”
12 drops, or so of Worcestershire sauce. Thanks again to Azzie for suggesting that Worcestershire sauce could be substituted for the liquid smoke.
4 – 6 drops of Tobasco Sauce
1 – 3 squirts of Sriracha sauce.
Fresh ground black pepper, till it looks right to you.
8 slices of tofu bacon, fried and crumbled. Alas, no bacon grease from this “bacon”.
2 large onions. I chose to up the onion game and grabbed two large onions. I did a rough chop because I’m a lazy beggar.
6 Carrots: grated
6 Celery stalks: Diced. Don’t try grating celery. It will only lead to heartache and a stringy mess.

I soaked 113g each of lentils, navy beans, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, great norther beans, and split peas for twenty four hours.
Yes, that’s 791g of beans. I drained and rinsed them and threw them in an eight quart pot.
To flavour the water that I put in the soup, I used a tablespoon of powdered ham soup base, a tablespoon of Marmite, and a tablespoon of Better Than Bullion Roast Chicken soup stock. I did not add extra salt. In addition, I shook in some Tabasco sauce and Sriracha sauce. 
I put in all the seasonings adjusting for the increase in the beans. I didn’t have real bacon, so I crumbled in some tofu bacon that I’d fried up yesterday. How I made the tofu bacon, and the Pumpkin seed tofu that I made the tofu bacon out of will be the subject of future posts. I sauteed the veg and added in the tomato paste, let it caramelise a bit, put the sauteed veg and tomato paste in the pot and scooped a ladle or two of the liquid from the pot into the skillet to deglaze the pan. Why waste flavour? I then poured the liquid back into the pot. Once the soup was at a boil, I dropped it down to a low simmer and lidded it up. I stirred it occasionally and checked the flavour profile. I forgot to check the time when I was done setting things up. When the beans were cooked through, I tried something new, I added two cups of homemade Split Pea Milk to increase the creaminess of the soup. I’ll cover the subject of making split pea milk in another upcoming post.
I grabbed my immersion blender and blitzed up a portion of the soup. The immersion blender head is easier to clean than my blender jar. The flavour of this soup is so deep and rich. From past experience, I suspect the flavour of the soup is only going to get better.
If you try this soup, do comment and feel free to share what tweaks, or mods you made to it.

The first photo is of the soup by istelf. The second photo is with some additions added. Homemade saeurkraut and pickled cauliflower, carrots, celery, and Jalapenos.

Of the four, or five times I’ve made this recipe. I think this is the best tasting version of the soup that I’ve made. When I eat this soup, I’ll test it with homemade sauerkraut and a homemade pickled vegetable blend of cauliflower, carrots, celery, and Jalapenos. Yes, the subject of future posts. 
I will work on coming up with a vegan version as well so that I have it in my tookkit, and of course share that recipe here.
I invite you to give this copycat recipe a shot. If you try it and tweak it, please do share those tweaks with me. You never know, I may want to try those tweaks.
Until next time.

Be well!