[Y]ou can easily make baked bean soup by adding sautéed onion, stock or broth, and lively seasonings. Morsels of ham or bacon further improve the soup, as do a stray carrot or celery stalk. For the lively seasonings, it pays to keep an open mind because a squirt of ketchup, dollop of mustard, shake of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, or pepper might do the trick. With a salad or coleslaw served on the side, the soup makes a very decent meal. Don’t forget pickles.
1 large onion, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 rib celery, chopped (optional)
1 carrot, sliced (optional)
1¾ to 2 cups or 1 large can of baked beans, drained to reduce the sweetness
Twice as much beef or vegetable broth as beans, or to taste
Diced ham or cooked and crumbled bacon (optional)
Your choice of powdered celery seed, garlic, chili powder,
cumin, red pepper, mustard, or ketchup, to taste
Sauté the onion in the oil, plus celery and carrots, if you choose them, for about 5 minutes until they are just softened. Add the beans, broth, meat, and your choice of seasonings. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat right away to a simmer. Cook all together for 30 minutes, taste, adjust seasonings, and serve.