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Old Style Bean Soup: Cozy, Flavorful Recipe for Canadians

Welcome to our article on old style bean soup, a classic and traditional dish that brings warmth and comfort to any table. This cozy soup has a rich history and has been a Canadian favorite for generations. In this article, we’ll show you how to make the perfect bowl of old style bean soup, with step-by-step instructions and helpful tips.

Our homemade bean soup recipe features wholesome ingredients and a hearty blend of flavors that will make your taste buds sing. Whether you’re in the mood for a comforting meal or want to impress your guests with an authentic dish, old style bean soup is sure to hit the spot. So, grab your apron and get ready to whip up a delicious and satisfying bowl of vintage goodness!

Ingredients for Old Style Bean Soup

To make this classic bean soup recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingredient Quantity
Dried navy beans 1 pound
Water 8 cups
Bacon, chopped 4 slices
Onion, chopped 1 medium
Carrot, chopped 1 medium
Celery, chopped 1 stalk
Garlic, minced 2 cloves
Bay leaves 2
Salt 1 teaspoon
Black pepper 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh parsley, chopped 2 tablespoons

This vintage bean soup calls for simple, wholesome ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store. The combination of navy beans, bacon, and vegetables creates a rich and hearty flavor that is perfect for cold winter days.

Preparation for Old Style Bean Soup

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to start preparing the old style bean soup. Below are the step-by-step instructions to guide you:

  1. Start by rinsing the beans with cold water and place them in a large pot. Cover with water and let them soak overnight.
  2. Drain the water and rinse the beans again. Add fresh water to the pot until it covers the beans by about 2 inches.
  3. Add in the diced onions, carrots, and celery.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, bay leaves, and any other complementary spices you prefer.
  5. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it boils, lower the heat and let it simmer for 1-2 hours until the beans are soft and tender.
  6. Occasionally stir the soup and skim any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.
  7. Once the soup is cooked, discard the bay leaves and serve hot.

Tip: If you prefer a thicker soup, you can puree a portion of the soup and add it back in for a creamier texture.

Cooking Old Style Bean Soup

After the ingredients are prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start cooking old style bean soup. A large soup pot or Dutch oven is recommended for the task, as it needs to accommodate a good amount of liquid and the beans.

First, heat some oil in the pot and sauté onions, garlic, and any other desired vegetables until tender. Add the beans and enough water or broth to cover them by a couple of inches. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

At this point, you can add any additional seasonings or herbs, such as bay leaves, thyme, or smoked paprika. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the beans are fully cooked and tender.

Some cooks prefer to soak the beans overnight, which can help shorten the cooking time and lead to a smoother texture. Others opt for a slow cooker or Instant Pot for convenience.

Adjusting the Flavor and Texture

Once the beans are cooked, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as desired. Salt and pepper are essential, but you can also add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice for brightness. For a creamier soup, blend a portion of the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth, then return it to the pot.

If the soup is too thick, you can add more liquid until it reaches the desired consistency. If it’s too thin, simmer it uncovered for a bit longer to let the liquid reduce. You can also add arrowroot or cornstarch slurry to thicken it.

Overall, the cooking process for old style bean soup is fairly simple and straightforward. It allows for some customization and adjustments along the way, so you can tailor the soup to your taste preferences.

Serving Suggestions for Old Style Bean Soup

Old style bean soup is a classic dish that can be a satisfying meal on its own or paired with complementary sides. Here are a few serving suggestions to enhance the comfort and flavor of this vintage soup:

  • Crusty bread: A slice of fresh or toasted crusty bread is a perfect accompaniment to old style bean soup. Dip the bread into the soup for a delicious combination of flavors and textures.
  • Cornbread: For a Southern twist on the classic, serve old style bean soup with a side of cornbread. The sweetness of the cornbread pairs well with the hearty flavors of the soup.
  • Sour cream and chives: For a creamy and tangy addition, top your bowl of old style bean soup with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh chives.
  • Bacon bits: Add some extra flavor and texture to your soup by sprinkling crispy bacon bits on top. The smoky flavor of the bacon complements the earthy flavors of the soup.

Whatever your preference, old style bean soup is a comforting and classic dish that will warm you up on a cold Canadian day.

Variations of Old Style Bean Soup

Old style bean soup is a traditional recipe that has been passed down through generations, and there are many variations that can be made to put a unique twist on the classic dish.

One common variation is to add different types of beans to the soup. While the traditional recipe typically uses navy beans, other types such as black beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas can be used to add a different texture and flavor to the soup.

Another way to vary the recipe is to add different vegetables. Chopped celery, carrots, or onions can be sautéed and added to the soup to add another layer of flavor and nutrition.

For those who want to add some protein to the soup, diced ham or shredded chicken can be added to the recipe. This variation is particularly popular with families who have a lot of leftovers to use up.

To give the soup a spicy kick, ingredients such as chili powder, cumin, or paprika can be added. This variation is ideal for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their dishes.

Old-Fashioned Bean Soup

For those who want to stick to a more traditional recipe, using old-fashioned methods can enhance the flavor and authenticity of the soup. One way to do this is to soak the beans overnight before cooking them in the soup. This allows the beans to absorb more flavor and become softer, resulting in a creamier texture.

Another way to add authenticity to the soup is to use a ham hock or bone in the recipe. This not only adds more flavor, but it was a common ingredient used in old-fashioned bean soups.

Family Recipe Bean Soup

Many families have their own unique twist on bean soup recipes. Some families may use a different type of bean, while others may have a secret spice blend that they add to the soup. Experimenting with different ingredients and techniques can result in a family recipe that is passed down through the generations.

Some families also have a tradition of adding dumplings or croutons to the soup. This adds a bit of texture and can make the soup more filling.

Authentic Bean Soup

For those who are looking for an authentic bean soup recipe, using high-quality ingredients is key. Using fresh herbs, homemade broth, and high-quality beans can elevate the taste and texture of the soup.

Cooking the soup for a longer period of time can also enhance its flavor. This allows the ingredients to meld together and the flavors to intensify.

Overall, there are many variations of old style bean soup that can be made to suit individual tastes and preferences. Whether it’s an old-fashioned or family recipe, or an authentic twist, bean soup is a classic dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

Health Benefits of Old Style Bean Soup

If you’re looking for a comforting and hearty meal, old style bean soup is an excellent choice. This classic dish offers several health benefits that make it a great addition to your diet.

For example, the soup is a great source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. It also contains fiber, which can help you feel fuller for longer periods of time and improve digestion. Additionally, the soup is low in fat and cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy option.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian or gluten-free meal, old style bean soup is a great choice. The soup is also an excellent way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, as many recipes call for onions, garlic, carrots, and other nutritious ingredients.

So, whether you’re looking for a comforting and filling meal or a nutritious dish to support your diet, old style bean soup is an excellent choice. Try making it at home and enjoy the health benefits of this classic recipe.

History of Old Style Bean Soup

The history of old style bean soup is rooted in Canadian cuisine and traditions. It has been a classic dish for generations, providing comfort and warmth during cold weather. The origins of the soup can be traced back to early settlers who relied on simple, hearty ingredients to sustain themselves through long winters.

Over time, the soup evolved to include different variations of beans, vegetables, and meats. Many families have their own unique recipes that have been passed down for generations, making old style bean soup a beloved family tradition across Canada.

One notable event in which old style bean soup is commonly enjoyed is during the Quebec Winter Carnival. This annual festival features a giant cauldron of bean soup, which is free for all to enjoy. The tradition of serving bean soup at the carnival dates back to the 1950s and is a beloved part of Quebec’s cultural heritage.

Tips for Making the Best Old Style Bean Soup

Nothing quite compares to the taste of a homemade, traditional bean soup. To help you achieve the most authentic and delicious old style bean soup, here are some helpful tips:

  • Soak the beans: For the best texture and flavor, soak your dried beans overnight in cold water before cooking.
  • Sauté the vegetables: Sautéing your vegetables before adding them to the soup can add depth and richness to the flavor.
  • Use fresh herbs: Fresh herbs can infuse the soup with a bright and aromatic flavor. Add them towards the end of the cooking process to ensure they don’t lose their potency.
  • Don’t overcook: To maintain the integrity of the beans and vegetables, be sure not to overcook the soup. Keep an eye on the texture as it simmers and adjust the cooking time as necessary.
  • Serve with crusty bread: A warm, crusty bread is the perfect accompaniment to old style bean soup. The bread can be used to soak up any leftover broth and adds an extra layer of comfort to the meal.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a classic and authentic old style bean soup that will warm you up on even the coldest of days.

Storing and Reheating Old Style Bean Soup

Once you have made a big batch of old style bean soup, you may wonder how to store it properly and reheat it for another meal. Here are some tips to ensure that your soup stays fresh and delicious:

Storing Reheating
Storage Containers: Transfer the soup to an airtight container, leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion. You can use plastic containers or freezer bags, but make sure they are BPA-free. Glass containers are also a good option, but remember they are heavy and fragile. Thawing: If the soup is frozen, transfer it to the fridge the night before you plan to eat it. Allow for a slow thaw to avoid temperature shock.
Refrigeration: Store the soup in the fridge for up to 4 days. If the soup contains dairy products, consume it within 2-3 days to prevent spoilage. Stovetop: Transfer the soup to a pot and heat it over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add a little bit of water or broth to thin out the soup if it has thickened in the fridge.
Freezing: Freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Label the container with the date and the contents of the soup to avoid confusion. Microwave: Place the soup in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave it on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

With these tips, you can enjoy your leftover old style bean soup without sacrificing flavor or quality.

Old Style Bean Soup: A Canadian Favorite

Old Style Bean Soup is a beloved Canadian comfort food that has been enjoyed for generations. This classic bean soup recipe has endured the test of time, becoming a staple in Canadian cuisine and culture.

Hailing from the French Canadian tradition, bean soup has been a popular dish in Quebec since the 17th century. The soup was originally made with pork and beans, but over time, various versions of the soup have emerged, each with their own unique flavors.

Old Style Bean Soup continues to be a favorite Canadian dish, especially during the cold winter months. It is a hearty and comforting soup that warms the soul and satisfies the taste buds. The soup is often paired with warm bread or biscuits, making it the perfect meal for a cozy night in.

Regional Variations

While Old Style Bean Soup is enjoyed throughout Canada, there are some regional variations that are worth noting. In Quebec, the soup is often made with smoked ham hocks or pork, giving it a rich and smoky flavor. In the Maritimes, lobster and seafood are sometimes added to the soup, creating a unique and delicious twist on the classic recipe.

Regardless of the variation, the heart and soul of Old Style Bean Soup remains the same – a warm and comforting dish that brings people together.


Old style bean soup is a classic dish that has been enjoyed for generations. The recipe has stood the test of time, providing warmth, comfort, and flavor to countless families and communities. Whether you’re looking to explore traditional Canadian cuisine or simply craving a comforting bowl of soup, old style bean soup is the perfect choice.

From its vintage and authentic ingredients to its hearty and nutritious qualities, old style bean soup has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to follow the recipe exactly or add your own unique twist, there are endless possibilities to explore.

So why not try making your own batch of old style bean soup today? With the simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions provided in this article, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying one of Canada’s most beloved dishes. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a slice of fresh bread, old style bean soup is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.


Q: Can I make this soup vegetarian-friendly?

A: Absolutely! Old style bean soup can easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and omitting any meat-based ingredients.

Q: How long does it take to cook old style bean soup?

A: The cooking time can vary depending on the recipe and desired texture, but typically it takes around 2-3 hours for the flavors to meld together and the beans to become tender.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers of old style bean soup?

A: Yes, old style bean soup freezes well. Just make sure to cool it completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Q: Can I use canned beans instead of dried beans?

A: While dried beans are traditionally used in old style bean soup for their rich flavor and texture, you can use canned beans if you’re short on time. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly as canned beans are already cooked.

Q: Are there any gluten-free variations of old style bean soup?

A: Yes, old style bean soup is naturally gluten-free as long as the ingredients used are gluten-free. Just make sure to check the labels of any canned goods or seasonings to ensure they are gluten-free.

Q: Can I add my own twist to the recipe?

A: Absolutely! Old style bean soup is versatile and can be customized to your liking. Feel free to experiment with different spices, vegetables, or meats to put your own unique spin on the classic recipe.

Q: How long can I store old style bean soup in the refrigerator?

A: Properly stored, old style bean soup can be refrigerated for up to 4-5 days. Make sure to transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it promptly after it has cooled down.

Q: Can I use a slow cooker to make old style bean soup?

A: Yes, using a slow cooker is a convenient method for making old style bean soup. Follow the instructions for cooking on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, or until the beans are tender and the flavors have developed.

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