Smokey Tuscan Style Bean Soup with Bacon Crumbs
- 350 gm SPC baked beans
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken or beef stock
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 250 gm rindless smoky-bacon rashers, cut into strips
- 2 tsp each smoked paprika and hot paprika
- 400 gm cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 80 ml apple cider vinegar, or to taste
- Extra 100 gm rindless smoky-bacon rashers, diced
- 70 ml olive oil
- 180 gm coarse sourdough breadcrumbs
- Approx 1½ tbsp each finely chopped sage and thyme
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic, and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes).
- Add bacon, sauté until fat begins to render (2-3 minutes) then add paprikas, stir until fragrant (1 minute), then add tomatoes, maple syrup, sugar and mustard. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, then add beans and enough reserved cooking liquid to just cover (about 375ml).
- Cover with a tight-fitting lid and bake, stirring occasionally, until beans are just tender (1-1¼ hours).
- In a new fry pan stir bacon over medium-high heat until fat begins to render (2-3 minutes), add oil and garlic and stir until fragrant (30 seconds).
- Add breadcrumbs, stir occasionally until lightly toasted (4-5 minutes), remove from heat then add herbs, season to taste and set aside.
- Remove lid from beans, add vinegar, stir to combine season to taste.
- Serve scatter bacon crumbs over.