Scrumptious Tomato Bean Soup is a nice hearty soup that is quick and easy. I always try to be very intent on not wasting anything that I have in my fridge. It becomes a challenge to me to concoct new recipes based on what needs to be used up before it’s too late! This recipe for Scrumptious Tomato Bean Soup is a good example of my waste not, want not mentality. I also fancy myself rather frugal when it comes to grocery shopping….you know, I am THAT person in the checkout line with the pile of coupons, upsetting those behind me as the checkout clerk slowly peruses all of my coupons, making sure they haven’t expired! So, with frugality in mind, whenever I go to Costco, I purchase a big container of grape tomatoes. You absolutely cannot beat the price and I love to add them to salads as they don’t make the salad soggy like a regular tomato is likely to. I consider this an important aspect of salad consumption that it not be soggy as I’m sure most of you would agree. I try to take salads to work as much as possible and I will prepare it the night before so there is no excuses that I don’t have time in the morning. This tactic works very well by the way. I rarely have to buy my lunch as a result of my dedication to night before preparation! I discovered a recipe on Pintrest, which is always my go to place when I am looking to use up leftovers in the fridge that would work with my overload of grape tomatoes getting over ripe. I tend to add my own modifications to most of the recipes I discover on Pintrest. I like to tailor recipes to what I like and what is readily available in my kitchen. I would like to give credit to The Cozy Apron for providing the basics for Scrumptious Tomato Bean Soup. What I found to be especially brilliant in this recipe is the use of croutons. I make my own using bread that is sitting in my freezer waiting to become freezer burnt and if you are interested, I do have a very good recipe for croutons I would love for you to try out. If you are pressed for time, however, you can also use store bought croutons….they will work just fine. The addition of the croutons, which are flavoured I might add, is the added taste they provide to the soup as well as they thicken it up without having to use cream. It tasted just as good as the picture posted and I am hoping that my picture will do it justice as well! Please enjoy this F.E.A.R. creation and if you have a moment, send me a note about what you thought of it. A picture of your own would be awesome to include as well. Please include #scrumptioustomatobeansoup with your picture.
- 6 ounces bacon, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups Onions, finely chopped Red, White or Yellow work just fine
- 5 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 6 oz can Tomato Paste
- 28 oz can San Marzano style whole tomatoes If you can find this type of canned tomato, the flavour is really top notch. If you are unable to fine them, any type of whole tomatoes will do.
- 4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 1 1/2 cups Flavoured Croutons
- 1 cup loosely packed Fresh Herbs such as basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley and thyme The sky is really the limit here....use as much or as little as you like.
- 2 15 oz cans White Beans, rinsed and drained Also known as cannellini beans
- 2 cups Fresh Spinach, optional I didn't add this because my family isn't keen on it.
In a large dutch over, cook bacon until crispy over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pot and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess bacon grease. Don't toss out the bacon drippings in the pot, though! You are going to use this for the onions which, by the way, you can add now. Set aside the bacon that was removed. I will wrap it up nice and tight in the paper towel which will keep in warm and will continue to remove the excess grease until you are ready to reintroduce it to your soup. Back to the onions, these should be in the pot by now and you want to saute them for about 3 - 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 30 seconds. Next comes the tomato paste.....add that now and saute for 1 - 2 minutes. The canned tomatoes are up next. Be sure to include the juices that they come with in the can. Add the chicken/vegetable stock and 1/2 of the fresh herbs if you are using them. Toss the croutons in...don't worry that they are whole...they won't be once the immersion blender is done with them! Stir all of these ingredients together and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes...if you have more time, then simmer longer, it will make the flavours richer. If you are pressed for time, that's ok too, This soup will rock even with less simmering time! So now it's time for the immersion blender if you have one, if you don't that's ok...I have a back up plan though I do strongly recommend that you invest in one as it makes this step so much easier! Anyways, puree the soup until smooth using the immersion blender or a regular blender works well too. I would add the soup to the blender in batches as you don't want it too full or it will sploosh all over the place. Once the soup has been blended, then back into the pot it goes! Once the soup has been safely returned to the pot, add the bacon, white beans and the rest of the herbs as well as the spinach if you decided that spinach was a go. Voila! You are ready to serve up this scrumptious soup. F.Y.I.....it is great served with some hot out of the oven garlic bread. And you guessed it, I just happen to have a recipe here as well for homemade garlic bread!