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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Bean & Bacon soup is a quick fix for after work

Thursday, May 10, 2001


Mary Mannella is on a roll.

The Penn Hills woman has now submitted five winning recipes to the Post-Gazette's Countdown to Dinner feature.

This week's Quick Bean & Bacon Soup goes together in a flash and makes a filling meal when accompanied by bread and, perhaps, a green salad.

For some people, it may seem a bit warm outdoors for soup, but as far as we're concerned, soup is good any old time.

Mannella is vice president of the PTA at Dible Elementary School, where son Christopher is finishing third grade. Husband Ed is regional director of finance for DiCesare-Engler.

Besides cooking and collecting cookbooks, Mannella enjoys making porcelain dolls.

Preferring a heartier soup, we used two cans of beans instead of one.

We also have an additional time-saving tip for readers: If you use chopped bacon in other recipes, you can buy a whole package, fry and crumble it all at once, then freeze the amount that you don't use for this recipe. Just remove from the freezer, microwave until warm and add to dishes. (We'll use our remaining bacon in baked beans this summer.)

For submitting a winning recipe, Mannella gets another cookbook to add to her collection.

You could, too -- just send us your own submission by following the rules below Mannella's recipe.

-- Tested by Rebecca Sodergren

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Quick Bean & Bacon Soup

1 can Northern beans (15 ounces)
1 small can tomato sauce (8 ounces)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped onion
6 slices bacon

In large saucepan, combine first four ingredients over high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in frying pan, cook bacon.

After soup has simmered, use potato masher or spoon to carefully mash some of beans to make soup a little thicker.

Drain bacon and crumble over soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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