This rustic soup was described as a “delicious cross between baked beans and tomato soup.” It was quick to prepare and very flavorful. We ate it over rice, like a chili.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Grace Parisi. I increased the onions and garlic and used freshly made cornbread instead of a corn muffin for the croutons. We ate it with green salad and warm cornbread on the side. Great.
Yield: Serves 6
- 7 slices (9-10 ounces) thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch strips
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 15-ounce cans pink beans with their liquid
- 4 1/2 cups chicken stock (I used homemade Turkey Stock)
- coarse salt
- cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces cornbread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- chopped scallions, for garnish, optional
- rice for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°, preferably on convection.
- In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon strips over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer the crispy bacon to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the saucepan.
- Add the onion and garlic to the fat in the saucepan and cook, stirring, until they are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and maple syrup and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until thick, about 3 minutes.
- Add the beans and their liquid and cook until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the stock and bacon strips, season lightly with salt and cayenne pepper and simmer the soup over moderate heat until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spread the cornbread cubes on a small baking sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until they are golden and crisp. Let the croutons cool slightly.
- Ladle the soup into deep bowls, garnish with the cornbread croutons and chopped scallions, as desired, and serve. (Serve over rice, if desired.)
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