Quick Note: I updated this post on 12-October-2019 to fix how the recipe was posted. It originally used a combination of canned & dried beans which was confusing. Since the original publication of this post, I switched to using only dried navy beans because I found a good source of inexpensive bulk beans. I buy them here: https://www.therestaurantstore.com/items/51755. And to prevent any confusion, I buy them locally and don’t need to have them shipped. When I bought them the last time, it came out to roughly $0.70 per lb. of beans. Walmart and other stores charge approx. $1.14 – $1.49 for 1 lb. of dried navy beans. Amounts and cook times have been updated.
One of my fondest childhood memories (about food, anyway) involved Campbell’s Bean with Bacon or Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup. You can check out my great non-Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup recipe later. But this post is all about the Bean with Bacon soup! I’m even going to share my secret ingredient that makes this recipe taste just like the Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup you’ve been looking for.
I’ve always loved Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup … but I have to share something with you — I really
don’t like HATE “bean soup.” For me, there is a big difference — uhh, taste, hello! — one is yummy and all the others are truly gross! My Mom used to make “bean soup” and I have to admit I tried to run away from home before she could serve it. I love you, Mom!! (Just not that soup. Blech!)
Any time I needed a good dose of quick and easy comfort food, I’d open a can of the Campbell’s I had stashed away and it was like being wrapped up in a warm, cozy blanket by a crackling fire.
The last time I bought a can of Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup, I was horrified to find the price was $1.59 a can. When did that happen?? OK, I admit that it had been awhile since I’d bought a can or at least looked at the prices, but seriously???? It’s canned SOUP, for cripe’s sake … not steak! But I digress.
I decided there had to be a copycat recipe that I could just whip up and BAM, done deal … Bean with Bacon soup! Well, there are many recipes out there and I think I’ve tried them all. None of them tasted like the canned Campbell’s soup I love so well. So I started experimenting on my own.
I knew that I needed to start out with navy beans and carrots. Check! Everything is always better with an onion added. Check! Even though it’s Bean with Bacon, I got closer to the flavor of Campbell’s using ham. And the soup just grew from there.
I wanted soup and I want it NOW … hard to do with dry beans. But enter the Instant Pot. I fell in love with my instant pot the very first time I tried it and I make a lot of our meals using it. This is one of those recipes. If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, here are a few reasons why you might want to get one!
So let’s get started! Gather all of your ingredients together.
If you want, you can use dry beans or canned navy beans. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, this recipe will take approx. 1 hour if using canned beans and around 3 hours if you use dry beans.
I used to soak the dry navy beans in hot tap water and set aside while I chopped up the veggies and start adding ingredients to the pot. But the last 5-6 times I’ve made this soup I didn’t soak the beans AT ALL. I did wash them and check for duds & rocks, but no soaking at all and it didn’t make a difference because I used the Instant Pot.
Peel and chop up your onions and carrots. Chop up your ham.
Add your beans, chopped onions, carrots and ham to the Instant Pot. If using canned navy beans including the liquid. Add ham broth base and Goya ham base. A word about these broth bases. I like to use my home pressure-canned pork or chicken broth in this recipe. But you don’t have to. It’s very easy to use store-bought broth. If I don’t have any broth handy, then I use a combination of powdered ham broth base AND a Goya Ham base packet. I’ve tried this recipe without the Goya packet and, well — it just needs it. The Goya Ham base pack is what gives the soup a real smoky flavor that broth and other bases are missing. Even when I use my own pork broth I still use the Goya Ham packet.
Add broth or water and make sure it covered your ingredients by about an inch. If it isn’t covered just add a little more broth or water.
Cook on Manual, high pressure for 15 minutes if using all canned beans. If using all dry beans, cook for 60 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release after the cooking is done.
Now here’s the secret ingredient!! This one small addition to the soup made all the difference in the world! Leave this out and it’s just not Copycat Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup! Open the Instant Pot after the natural release and add 2 tbsp. of tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Serve immediately to raving fans!
- 4 15-oz cans Navy Beans with liquid
- — OR —
- 2 cups (1 lb.) dried Navy Beans
- 2-3 carrots, diced
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 cup Diced ham
- 1 quart Pork (or chicken) broth — or water
- 2 tsp. Ham broth base (such as Better Than Bouillon Ham or Orrington Farms)
- 1 packet Goya Ham seasoning
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Dice up ham, carrots and onions.
- Add beans, ham, carrots and onions to Instant Pot.
- Pour broth or water in instant pot and then add ham bouillon and Goya Ham seasoning. Stir to mix well.
- Broth/water should cover ingredients by about 1 inch. Add more broth/water if necessary.
- CANNED BEANS: Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- DRIED BEANS: Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes.
- Allow a Natural pressure release.
- Open Instant Pot and add tomato puree and stir to combine well.
As an FYI, I recently tried this Bean with Bacon soup recipe using different types (combo) of beans and it was “bean soup.” Yuk! I’ll be sticking with navy beans, y’all!