Chicken, Bacon and White Bean Soup Portuguese Style

Total Time
2hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs

One of Emeril Lagasse's favorites. This is a soup his mom would always cook. He describes it as a stick-to-your-ribs soup. Enjoy! *Note: the dried beans need to soak for at least 8 hours. You could do that overnight* (For a quick soak, bring the beans and water to a boil over high heat and cook for 2 minutes at the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to stand for 1 hour. Drain.) Prep time does not include soaking the beans.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the beans into a large pot.
  2. Add water to cover by 2 inches and soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Then drain.
  4. Fry the bacon in a heavy stockpot over medium-high heat until crisp, about 7 minutes.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to lift onto paper towels to drain.
  6. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pot.
  7. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.
  8. Add the shallots, garlic, bay leaves, salt and cayenne.
  9. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots soften, about 1 minute.
  10. Add the beans to the pot with the stock, and bring to a boil.
  11. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  12. Stir in the chicken and the reserved bacon and heat through.
  13. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  14. Ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle with the grated cheese.


Most Helpful

Absolutely delicious! I added 3 small potatoes diced very small and some sort of very small pasta, just to make it a little more hearty. I will defiantly make this again. Made for NZ/AUS Recipe Swap #34

daisygrl64 November 07, 2009

I very much enjoyed this soup! Used Great Northern beans, turkey bacon and the chicken that comes in the packet like tuna does. Didnt have the bacon grease so I added olive oil to saute the vegetables in. Instead of the cayenne pepper I added a pinch of red pepper flakes. Couldnt wait for the soup to get done as it smelled delicious and it tasted just as good! Light, simple, and flavorful soup I enjoyed for lunch. When finished dieting will make this again with real bacon. Thank you for sharing LIF! Made and reviewed for the Culinary Quest 2016 - Azores required.

lauralie41 July 23, 2016

Very good! I made the recipe as directed. It was delicious.

Lorac June 13, 2013

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