Tomato and Bean Soup with Crispy Bacon Tomato and Bean Soup with Crispy Bacon

Food styling by Michael Elliott | Prop styling by Laura Branson Image by: Ronald Tsang

Fennel seeds are milder in flavour when preground than when whole or freshly ground; if you're starting with whole seeds, grind them using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, and use only half the amount called for in the recipe.

  • Prep time 35 minutes
  • Total time 35 minutes
  • Portion size 6 servings


  • 3 strips bacon thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each granulated sugar, dried oregano and ground fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups sodium-reduced chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup bottled strained tomatoes (passata)
  • 1 can white kidney bean drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


In Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove bacon to plate. Set aside.

Reserving 1 tbsp, drain fat from Dutch oven; cook onion and celery over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add carrot; cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add garlic, sugar, oregano, fennel seeds, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in tomato paste until combined. Stir in broth, strained tomatoes and 1 cup water; bring to boil. Stir in beans; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and celery is softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Ladle into serving bowls; sprinkle with bacon, feta and chives.

Tip from The Test Kitchen: Passata is puréed lightly cooked tomatoes that have been strained of their skins and seeds. You'll find it in jars in the canned tomatoes section of your grocery store.

Nutritional facts per serving: about

  • Fibre 6 g
  • Sodium 733 mg
  • Sugars 8 g
  • Protein 9 g
  • Calories 175.0
  • Total fat 6 g
  • Potassium 484 mg
  • Cholesterol 12 mg
  • Saturated fat 2 g
  • Total carbohydrate 22 g


  • Iron 19.0
  • Folate 14.0
  • Calcium 9.0
  • Vitamin A 35.0
  • Vitamin C 10.0
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Lunch & Dinner

Tomato and Bean Soup with Crispy Bacon