(A familiar soup of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard)
This nutritious soup--full of beans, tomatoes, bacon, and chunky vegetables--is an old sailor favorite...and it's tough to find a recipe that makes under a 100 portions. This is a great one, though--pretty to see, filling, and belly warming on a blustery day. Serve hot to 8-10 people as a luncheon meal with lots of crackers.
While the beans are cooking, fry the bacon until it is crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels, leaving the bacon grease in the skillet. Toss in the onions and saute over medium heat until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Toss in the tomatoes and let cook down for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the beans have cooked for about an hour, scrape in the tomato-onion mixture, then the carrot and potato chunks. Bring to a boil, season well with pepper, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the bacon, crumbled, and season with salt to taste.
When ready to serve, ladle into bowls.