This soup was created on a windy, stormy fall evening, when all I wanted to do was come home from work and make something satisfying yet quick and easy. It's "soulful" because you don't have to hurt a soul to prepare it; it's quite vegetarian-friendly. Of course, the ingredients can be modified to accommodate carnivores - use real bacon instead of bacon bits, or beef broth instead of vegetable broth. For less sodium, you can prepare your own broth, or use just water. The spiciness can also be adjusted to individual tastes, but I like it just like this. Don't be afraid of the amount of Tabasco sauce here; you're using Tabasco's new chipotle variety - kind of like a spicy steak sauce that can be used as a condiment. I like to serve this with saltine crackers, or garlic bread (with or without ooey, gooey cheese!). One other note: don't add salt to beans while they're cooking. It can interfere with the cooking process and make them take longer to finish. Always add salt to beans after they're tender.