Whenever we go to Buffalo to visit Nick’s parents, his mom always makes great soups. My family never ate much soup, but after eating several of her soups, as well as, several delicious soups at The Chicago Diner and at Native Foods Cafe , I decided to try making some of my own, since they’re always great on a cold winter day.
One of my favorite soups from The Chicago Diner is their navy bean soup, so I set out to create my own version of it using Upton’s Naturals bacon seitan and here’s what I came up with. It’s not the same as the Chicago Diner’s soup, but it’s delicious!
2 cups dry navy beans
4 medium red potatoes, cubed
1/3 Red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
4 Tbsp vegan Liquid Smoke
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk or other unsweetened non-dairy beverage
5 slices of Upton’s Naturals bacon seitan
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
Soak navy beans in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Once soaked – rinse and drain. Pour 6 cups of water into a large soup pan and add beans – boil for 30 minutes.
While beans are boiling, cube your potatoes and place in a separate bowl. Chop red onion into small pieces and chop bacon into small strips, as well. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan and fry bacon with onion until the onion is translucent and the bacon is a little browned – set aside.
After beans have cooked for half an hour, drain again. Place 5 fresh cups of water into your soup pot and add beans again, as well as cubed potatoes and bring to a boil. Dissolve 1 vegetable bouillon cube in 1 cup of boiling water and add to soup mix. Add 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke and one tablespoon of salt and stir. Allow soup mix to boil for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Take off heat and use potato masher to mash soup mix.
Once beans and potatoes have been mashed, add bacon and onion from the pan you set aside earlier and return pot to heat. Stir and allow to simmer until water evaporates and mixture starts to look like mashed potatoes (10-15 minutes). Stir in almond milk, margarine and the other 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Makes 3-4 bowls.