Sometimes I wonder if people who are real, knowledgeable cooks/chefs ever see some of my ‘original’ recipes and think ‘She’s doing it wrong’.
I have zero proper instruction on how to cook or bake and often find myself wondering if what I’m doing is the best way to get maximum tastiness out of the dish I’ve got at hand. My love for food revolves around the act of eating, and as much as I do like to spend time in the kitchen, it’s safe to say that I feel pretty freaking clueless sometimes.
Soup’s pretty hard to screw up, but I managed to do just that, a lot last winter. Soup and I lost our mojo and took a little break from each other. Fall 2012 has been a time for us to rekindle our relationship, and so far, things are going pretty well!
I had some tasty root veggies that I picked up at my local farm stand, Noggins Farm. A couple of turnips, carrots, onions, the homely veggies that so many hearty, starchy soups are spawned from. In rummaging around my fridge looking for some butter, I found a pack of gorgeous, thick-cut bacon from a local butcher. Um, yeah. That bacon was going in my soup. No questions.
So here’s when I get a little iffy about my soup-ing method. Obviously I wanted to put the fat off that bacon to good use; my onions were getting browned in it, for sure. So chop bacon, get it all brown and toasty in the bottom of the pot, lots of tasty bacon grease to work with. Now…to leave the bacon in the pot or remove it? I left it in there. The bacon was along for the full soup ride. Not sure if that was the right way to go about this soup but hot damn…the end result is indisputably amazing.
The smokiness of the bacon, earthiness of the veggies and a generous drizzle of maple syrup makes this soup the lunch equivalent of a heavy home-made afghan. So cozy and warm. This one’s a keeper, peeps!
Maple, Bacon & Winter Veggie Soup
- 2-3 strips thick cut bacon
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 carrots
- 2 medium turnips (about softball size) chopped in about 1 inch cubes
- 5 cups broth, I used veggie
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- pinch cayenne powder
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
In a large, heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven (I used my Creuset), sautee the bacon until just done.
So here, I left the bacon in, but most bacon-y soup recipes call for it to be removed at this point, placing the bacon on some paper towel to drain. Do whatever!
Now sautee the onion, carrots and turnip in the bacon fat, seasoning with salt and pepper, cooking until onion softens, 5 or so minutes.
Add broth and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer a let it go until all veggies are cooked through.
Once they are tender, remove the pot from the heat, throw the bacon back in (if you removed it in the first place), and add nutmeg, cayenne, and maple.
Puree using immersion blender or regular blender...just be careful! Once smooth, return to pot and adjust the seasonings as necessary for your tastes!
Enjoy with a thick slice of brown bread and have a little love for the winter!