Sunday, October 20, 2013

BLT Soup

Back in the old days, tomato soup was my go-to midnight snack. CaveBoy would doctor up a can of condensed soup with Emeril's Essence, and we'd share the bowl while we watched Futurama. It was warm and comforting and it put me right to sleep (just like my new go-to midnight snack).

Now that I know what high fructose corn syrup and wheat flour do to my body (and it ain't good!) I avoid condensed soup at all cost. Including missing out on the delicious, creamy, tomatoey, goodness of a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Until now.

I served this BLT Soup with baked chicken thighs for dinner last week. And it was just what the doctor ordered. The days are getting shorter, and it's pitch dark and chilly when I finally get home from work. After spending all day in a basement cubicle, missing the afternoon sun can feel like an added insult. But this warm, inviting bowl of soup washed all of those thoughts away, and set me on the right track for a relaxing evening.

BLT Soup

Classy. Right?

Ingredients

3 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 12 oz package thick-cut bacon, diced (look here for Whole30 Approved bacon)*
6 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 head romaine lettuce (just kidding - I only used lettuce for garnish)
1 bay leaf
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine (or replace with chicken stock for Whole30 option)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Instructions

In a large pot cook diced bacon until fat is rendered out and bacon is fully cooked. Remove cooked bacon and set aside. Pour off 1/2 of the bacon grease and discard (or save in the refrigerator for breakfast). Re-heat remaining bacon grease over medium heat. Add onion and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion begins to brown. Add garlic and cook unit the veggies begin to caramelize. Pour in white wine (or chicken stock) and deglaze the pan. 

Add diced tomato, chicken stock, basil, red pepper, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat so you don't scald yourself while you blend the soup. Remove bay leaf and discard. Blend the soup until it is creamy using your immersion blender. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cooked bacon. Makes 8 servings.

*Note: For my vegan friends (and YES! I have some of those, so don't judge...) you can replace the bacon with 2 tablespoons olive oil. 





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