In a medium Dutch oven, heat EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat.
Add the onions, garlic, chile, bay leaves, thyme, a little salt and lots of pepper. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée and chicken stock, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Stir in the beans and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Serve the soup in shallow bowls. Top with the cooked bacon, a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of cheese. Serve with the bread alongside for mopping.