Real Food Recipes

A collection of recipes both ancient and contemporary, to help incorporate real and whole foods into a modern life.

Bean and Bacon Soup (Similar to Campbell's)

I like Campbell's bean and bacon soup, and my only real complaint is that it does not have enough bacon (or any detectible bacon, lately). So I remedied that.


Bean and Bacon Soup

1 lb bacon
1 lb dried small white beans (or other)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp paprika
1 12 oz can tomato juice or V8
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 garlic clove
1 tsp liquid smoke

I cook this in my instant pot. I like a bean soup with very tender beans, so it is cooked more than once including the canning process.

Cook the bacon, save the fat.

Cook the beans until tender. You want them fully cooked, so you can mash them between your fingers. Drain.

To eat right away, toss everything into a pot, including the bacon fat, make sure the beans are covered - add water if necessary - and cook for half an hour, stirring as needed. You can can the leftovers if you like.

If you want to just can the soup, and not have any right now, then do it this way:

Divide the beans between 6 pint jars. Do the same with the bacon fat, bacon, onion, and carrot.

Mix the remaining ingredients together, and divide between the jars. Top with a little water if you need to, to give a 1" headspace.

Pressure can at 10 lbs pressure, adjusted for altitude, for 75 minutes.

Old Fashioned Ham and Bean Soup

This soup is very flexible. Change it up however you like, if you want to can it, there really isn't anything you can do to it to change the canning time.


Bean and Ham Soup

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Ham bone
1 bay leaf
Ham chunks
1 chopped onion
4 ribs celery chopped
3 shredded carrots

dash garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
2 cups tomato juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp parsley

1 lb dry navy beans (or a mixture of beans)

Cook ham bone with bay leaf until joint falls apart. Pick meat off, save broth. Discard bay leaf

Soak beans overnight in ham broth. Drain, reserve broth. Divide beans between 10 pint jars.

Divide bacon, ham, onion, celery, carrots between jars.

Mix sauce ingredients together, and divide between all jars. Top with broth, leaving 1 1/4" headspace (if broth is not enough, use water to make up difference).

Refried Beans (for Canning)

The US government disapproves of people canning refried beans at home. Just so you know. So it can be hard to find instructions on doing so.

I made sure my beans were a little thinner than usual for canning them (to ensure good heat penetration), and they turned out just great. If you are a little leery of doing them, then use the safety net - just heat the beans to boiling and keep them bubbling for about 10 minutes after you open the jar (this neutralizes botulism toxins).

There is some confusion out there as to what the term "refried" means, and you do NOT need to fry them twice, that's just silly. The name refers to the fact that they were generally made from leftover beans from the night before, and cooked in a skillet with pork fat, so they just fell apart from the additional cooking. Over time, people began mashing or pureeing the beans as well as just cooking them. You don't even have to fry them at all, just cook them WELL, mash or blend all or part, and it will make really excellent beans.


Refried Beans

2 lbs pinto or pink beans
fat from 1 lb of bacon

dried onion (about 1/2 cup)
garlic granules (sprinkle lightly)

2 sticks butter (1 cup)
Salt to taste
pepper to taste
taco seasoning or chili powder if wanted, to taste

Add dry beans to Dutch oven and add 4 qts of water to cover. Cook on high till the beans come to a boil for about two minutes and turn off the heat, cover and let the beans sit in the pot covered for 30 to 45 minutes. Once the beans have sat they will have absorbed a lot of the water. Drain the beans through a colander and then add 4 qts of fresh water and add the onions and garlic. Cook the beans again until tender (you should be able to smash them between your fingers).

Drain the broth (can reserve it for use in soups if you like), and add 2 cups back into the beans. MASH beans (you can use a potato masher, or a stick blender, or run them in a regular blender or food processor if you want, but leave some texture behind). Add seasonings, bacon fat, and butter.

Beans should be slightly thin for refried beans, you want them to be BARELY pourable, not pasty (they will thicken as they cool, and as they sit in storage).

Put into jars, leaving 1 1/2 inches headspace (beans expand when they boil). Add lids.

Pressure can at 10 lbs pressure (adjusted for altitude), for 75 minutes for pints.

Really Pork and Beans (Not Baked Beans)

I searched for a long time to find a pork and bean recipe that was really pork and beans. I finally discovered that the ones I really like (Van Camp's), use tomato juice and not tomato sauce in the recipe, and that has made a tremendous difference. I like the lighter flavor of that brand of pork and beans.


Really and Truly Pork and Beans
(or Beanie Weenie base)

1 lb White Beans
3 sm can V-8 (8 oz)
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Mustard
1 tbsp Paprika
3 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp Seasoning Salt
2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
12 oz bacon, cooked, crumbled, fat reserved, or you can do salt pork chunks

Add dry beans to Dutch oven and add 8 cups of water to cover. Cook on high till the beans comes to a boil for about two minutes and turn off the heat, cover and let the beans sit in the pot covered for 30 to 45 minutes. Once the beans have sat they will have absorbed a lot of the water. Drain the beans through a colander and then add 8 cups of fresh water. Cook the beans again for 15 minutes at a full boil.

In the meantime, in another saucepan mix 2 cups of water, plus the other ingredients (including bacon fat), cook to get a slow boil.  It should be mild tasting and not thick.

Prepare 6 pint jars. Using a slotted spoon fill the jars 3/4 full of the beans. Once all the jars are filled ladle the sauce into the jars leaving 1" headspace to leave room for expansion (divide sauce evenly, add a little more water if you need to). Process the jars in a pressure canner at 11 pounds of pressure (adjusted for altitude) for 75 minutes.


The information on this site is presented for informational purposes only, and consists of the opinions and experiences of the site authors. It is not to be construed as medical advice or to be used to diagnose or treat any illness. Seek the assistance of a medical professional in implementing any nutritional changes with the goal of treating any medical condition. The historical and nutritional information presented here can be verified by a simple web search.

I do what I do because I understand the science behind it, and I've researched worldwide sources to verify the safety of my practices to my own satisfaction. Please do your own research, and proceed AT YOUR OWN RISK.




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