"'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 or large saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add the 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. Stir in flour; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth, picante sauce, tomato sauce and pepper; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Just before serving, add lettuce and heat through. Garnish with the croutons and bacon.