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This vegan bean and bacon soup is smokey, savory, and deeply satisfying, thanks to white beans and plant-based bacon in a rich tomato sauce.
This vegan bacon and bean soup is like an elevated plant-based chili recipe. Skip the meat but keep all the rich, smoky umami flavor you love in chili. Plus, this is a lighter, creamier soup without any dairy. With dried herbs and tomato sauce, you can build a flavor-packed plant-based soup perfect for a chilly night.
I prefer to set aside the bacon and use it as a topping for each bowl of warm soup. Otherwise, seitan bacon can get soggy when simmered in liquid. If I have any leftover garlic croutons, I love to add them to this soup for an extra crunchy topping.
This simple soup comes together almost entirely in a stockpot on the stove. Then blend it up for a creamy texture and even more flavor. Reminder: You can find the printable, detailed recipe in the recipe card below.
- Great northern beans. Creamy, mild, and soft, this variety of white beans adds a ton of plant-based protein to ensure this soup keeps you satisfied.
- Celery, carrots, and onions. This trio of diced vegetables makes mirepoix: the classic foundation of flavor in this soup, and many French-style recipes.
- Garlic. This soup gets a spike of savory allium flavor from minced fresh garlic.
- Dried thyme. Thyme adds a rich, herby flavor to this soup and pairs very well with the white beans.
- Vegetable stock. Opt for low-sodium stock so you can control the seasonings.
- Smoked paprika. This surprising addition adds a ton of sickness to complement the vegan bacon.
- Tomato sauce. This is the secret to building umami flavor in your chili without any meat.
- Vegan bacon. My favorite vegan bacon is Sweet Earth's Benevolent Bacon (made from seitan) - but you can use your favorite. Lightlife's Smart Bacon is another good option. I find both at my local Kroger in the refrigerated vegan section.
Substitutions & Swaps
- Other beans. You can swap the white beans with black, pinto, or garbanzo beans if that's what you have on hand.
- Spicy bean & bacon soup. If you want to turn up the heat on this soup, add a diced jalapeño or crushed red pepper flakes to the pot.
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This is a great make-ahead recipe for meal prep. Store cooled soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Defrost frozen soup in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave until hot.
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Vegan Bean and Bacon Soup
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 5 ounces vegan bacon - chopped
- ½ yellow onion - chopped
- 2 stalks celery - chopped
- 2 medium carrots - chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 3 (15-ounce) cans great northern beans - drained and rinsed
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Sauté the chopped vegan bacon in 1 tablespoon of oil on medium heat until browned and crispy. Scoop out the bacon and set aside for now.
- Add the onion, celery, carrots, and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot. Sauté until the onion is translucent and carrots are tender.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer on high heat, then reduce to med-low. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Scoop about half of the soup into a blender. Blend until smooth. Return to the pot. (Be careful when blending - it's hot!)
- Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve topped with the vegan bacon.
- I prefer to set aside the bacon and use it as a topping because seitan bacon gets soggy when simmered in liquid.
- Recipe adapted from Taste and Tell.