As inexpensive as it is delicious, this recipe originated in the 70s, created by a thrifty artist in the mountains north of Phoenix.
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with their juices
3 cups cooked beans (white, pinto, or other), drained
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (white, brown, or a wild rice)
1/2 tsp. paprika
4 cups vegetable broth or water (or 2 cups of each)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté bacon until crisp but not too brown. Remove to a plate and drain off all but 2 tablespoons drippings. Add onion and a pinch of salt to the drippings and sauté until translucent, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Add beans, rice, salt, paprika, and pepper, then stir in 3 cups broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer soup for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding remaining broth if needed. Return about half the bacon to the soup. Ladle into bowls and top with remaining bacon. Soup will thicken as it sits; add water or broth to thin as needed.
Bryn’s long career in publishing took a left turn sometime around 2010, when she discovered the joy of food writing. Since then, she’s found professional nirvana as the editor of Edible Ohio Valley, author of The Findlay Market Cookbook, and occasional instructor at The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s. Find her seasonal recipes at writes4food.com.