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Recipe for Confederate Bean Soup and Cornbread

Thelma is a former field editor for "Taste of Home" magazine and has a huge collection of recipes submitted to her from cooks across the US.

Here is a pot full of confederate bean soup, ready to eat.

Here is a pot full of confederate bean soup, ready to eat.

A Quick and Easy Meal

Confederate bean soup is an old favorite that has been enjoyed by my southern family for many years. World-renowned cook Paula Deen has her own version featured in one of her southern cooking books; however, my recipe includes a few different ingredients. Paula uses turkey sausage, whereas my family likes the taste of smoked pork sausage. She also adds chopped green pepper, which I think overpowers the sweet taste.

Making changes like these are what makes a recipe your own. After all, you are preparing the dish for your family, and you know what their tastes are.

As far as the name goes, I truly don't know how it became known as Confederate bean soup. Call it whatever name you want, as long as you enjoy the taste!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

Depends on size of soup bowl

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (55 ounce can) baked beans
  • 3 cups half & half


  1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add onion and bacon. Saute until bacon is cooked.
  2. Add sausage and garlic; cook until sausage is heated through.
  3. Add beans including the sauce in the can and simmer 10 minutes over low heat.
  4. Add half & half and continue to simmer over low heat until heated through, stirring often to keep from burning on the bottom. Don't let soup boil.
  5. At this point, the soup is ready to eat, but you need to make a decision if it is the consistency that your family prefers. If it is too thick, continue adding more half & half until it reaches the thickness you desire. Make sure if you add more half & half to give the soup a little more heating time to reach the temperature you like for serving.

Cornbread Recipe

There are many different ways to prepare cornbread. Usually, it depends on where in the US you live. Here in the south, we typically do not add sugar to the recipe. We like the taste of the cornmeal without any sweetness. We also use white cornmeal instead of yellow like the northern branch of my family uses. No matter where you live, you probably will make it like your mother taught you!


  • 1/3 cup bacon grease
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups self-rising white corn meal mix
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (or buttermilk if you prefer)


  1. Put bacon grease in a cast-iron skillet and put in the oven. Turn on the oven to 425 degrees. If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, use a baking pan. Don't pre-heat the baking pan. You will need to coat the baking pan with cooking spray instead of the bacon grease. Note: If you don't own a cast-iron skillet, you might want to purchase one. I am the third generation to use mine, which is over a hundred years old!
  2. Beat egg. Stir in the cornmeal mix and milk. Just stir together and leave lumpy. Don't beat it.
  3. When the oven is preheated, remove the skillet and pour the bacon grease into the batter. Make sure your pan has grease coating all parts of the bottom and sides so the cornbread won't stick.
  4. Note: If you are not using a cast-iron skillet, take your 1/3 cup of bacon grease and heat it in a pan or microwave just so it is the right consistency to be stirred into the batter.
  5. Stir the grease into the batter but just enough to mix it. Again, you want the batter to be lumpy.
  6. Pour batter into the pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center of cornbread, and if it comes out clean, it is ready. Otherwise, bake a little longer, checking it at short intervals to see if done.
  7. Set the pan on wire cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Then, put a plate upside down over the top of the pan and then turn over. The cornbread should come right out onto the plate.

© 2016 Thelma Raker Coffone