I have had to give up many things because of my MSG-intolerance. Most salad dressings, flavored chips or crackers, dips, frozen food, restaurant food, and canned soups contain some form or another of this food additive. As hard as it is to give up things that I like, it is even worse when those items are comfort foods, those things that you ate while you grew up. One of those items, for me, is bean with bacon soup. The canned version that I grew up eating became one of the items that I had to give up, and I really missed it, until I decided that it was time to make it from scratch.
I wont pretend that this taste just like the canned version, I honestly don't know exactly what that would taste like anymore, since it hasn't been in my pantry for several years. I use all organic, and it has been a huge hit, but I swear the reason it is so tasty is the bacon stock. Bear in mind that while I spend hours mincing onions, carrots, celery, and bacon, I just don't think this soup would have the same depth without it. Here's a link to my "Frugal File" on Bacon Stock.
Feel free to adjust amounts of any vegetables to suit your own taste
• 3 cups navy beans (I soak mine for app. 2 days, periodically draining them and rinsing with fresh filtered water)
• 6-8 cups of filtered water (substitute 4 cups of bacon stock)
• ¾- 1 package of bacon (browned and minced)
• 3 medium carrots (minced)
• 3 stalks of celery (minced)
• onion (minced)
• 1 tsp thyme
• 1 tsp basil
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 4-6 oz tomato sauce
• 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
• salt and pepper to taste
Soak beans at least overnight (if longer, periodically drain and add fresh water). Drain and rinse. Add water and bacon stock, bacon, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, basil, garlic powder, tomato sauce, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Simmer until beans are tender. Puree 1-2 cups of soup and add it back into the soup. Add balsamic vinegar and salt to taste.