"I'm always inventing new recipes or improving on old ones," says Sharon Richardson of Dallas, Texas. "Since the BLT is a family favorite, I created a soup with all the flavors of the sandwich. But I gave it extra zip by adding picante sauce."
In a Dutch oven, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add bread cubes; stir until crisp and golden brown. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup drippings; set bacon aside.
Saute celery and onion in drippings until tender. Add sugar; cook and stir for 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved. Gradually stir in flour; cook and stir for 1 minute or until blended. Add the broth, picante sauce, tomato sauce and pepper; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Just before serving, add lettuce and heat through. Sprinkle with croutons and bacon.