Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BLT Soups

Two kinds of BLT soups - the traditional is great with a salad or sandwich or as a first course to a meal, and the latter is great as a meal all in itself.

3 Strips Bacon, cut into lardons
1 T butter
3 ½ c lettuce of choice, sliced thin
½ c AP flour
6 c chicken, ham or vegetable stock
2 c fresh chopped tomatoes, or small can diced
1 pinch fresh ground nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne
1 c half and half or cream of choice
Salt and pepper

In heavy soup pot, sauté the bacon until crispy, and then set aside to drain. Add lettuce and butter and cook 2 min. When butter is melted, add flour and stir well to coat lettuce. Let cook 2 min while still stirring so does not burn. Gradually stir in stock, whisking to incorporate. Add cayenne, tomatoes, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and stir occasionally until it thickens. Make sure heat is on low, and stir in cream, blending well. Serve garnished with crumbled bacon.

Kicked-Up Version: Basically Veggie Chowder
Same as above but add:
1 stalk celery, minced
½ c corn, frozen
2 med or 1 large potato, peeled and diced
½-1 c red lentils
½ t ham bullion (when using veggie or chicken stock – use chicken bullion if using ham stock)
1 onion, diced
And subbed cabbage for lettuce as it wilts down and cabbage keeps its texture

Add celery, onion and cabbage to sauté before making roux. Add potatoes and lentils with liquids/stocks. Cook until potatoes are just barely tender. I took out about 2 c of the soup and pureed it to give it more creamy texture without all of the cream. Return it to soup pot and add corn, cook 3-5 min more. Stir in cream and fresh herbs (parsley or chives). I served garnished with toasted whole wheat croutons and the bacon pieces.

Note: You could toss in any veggies you have on hand that you’d like to use up with this soup – green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc. It’s really not BLT soup but it’s heartier and is definitely a meal whereas the BLT soup really isn’t.

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