Close your eyes for a moment, please. Yes, you too. Thanks. Now, imagine if you will the last BBQ you went to this summer that served dark and delicious baked beans. I'm not talking about the dreadful "pork 'n beans" you dump out of a can and heat. No. I mean those brown sugar, bacon-covered, smoky and tantalizing beans that you desperately want more of, but you know they're so full of bad stuff that you just can't go back for seconds. Yeah, you know which ones I'm talking about. Okay, open your eyes!
This recipe is a rendition of those most sinful beans, but in soup form. This soup is sweet and spicy and hearty, but without the morose heaviness that baked beans imbue.
4 slices bacon
1 C. chopped onion
1 16 Oz. can Northern beans
1 16 Oz. can black beans
1 16 Oz. can Kidney beans
1/3 C. Ketchup
3 T. Worcester Sauce
3 T. Liquid Smoke
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1 Small Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1/4 -1/2 C. brown sugar
2 T. Molasses
1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1-2 C. Chicken broth or water, or as needed
Tortilla Strips, cheddar cheese & cilantro, for garnish
In a large pot, brown bacon and remove to drain on a paper towel. Add onion to the bacon grease and cook over medium heat until soft, but not brown.
Add beans and each of the other ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Add broth or water as needed to create desired consistency. Ladle into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, cheddar cheese and cilantro. Serve with good, fresh bread.