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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.
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.
Try this vegan broccoli cheddar soup next!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a comment and a ⭐ star review below!
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.