It was good soup. The key to the soup is the bacon. The original recipe says bacon is optional. The smoky flavor from the bacon is necessary, in my opinion.
Turns out the beans are optional. I thought I had some in my pantry, but I didn't. That's what I love about soup, though. It's forgiving like that.
On the side a version of garlic bread. I ran the garlic over a microplane and warmed it in a pan with some butter over low. Then, brushed it on some toasted ciabatta. I topped the bread with parm and broiled it until it the cheese melted. YUM.