Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tomato Carrot Soup with Bacon Croutons

It's been awhile and I'm ok with that. I've been cooking and experimenting more than ever before and the pressure to not photograph everything has been spectacular. The early setting sun offers another bit of encouragement to sit down and enjoy a loving meal with A instead of waiting for the wafting steam to fade away.

I'm ok with it. You should be too. But now that the sun is hanging around a bit longer with each passing day, I'm more and more encouraged to snap a picture or two. I've also been enlightened by the book "The Everlasting Meal," but more on that in another post.

Thank god this picture isn't all moldy either as I'm pretty sure we ate this way back in December, but hold tight! I have a few more excuses: 2 weeks for the holiday's away from my now home to my childhood home. Then another 10+ days in January for a trip back to my other home (the Pacific Northwest). Then ta-da! End of January and I don't know there the time went.

This soup recipe was actually made by A as I don't eat bacon. He gobbled all that up while I had my soup sans bacon. Just as delicious but I guess not as boy-friendly. It was the perfect amount of smokey, soul-heating goodness balanced against the healthy hearty vegetable base. 

Tomato Carrot Soup with Bacon Croutons
Adapted from Bitchin' Camero 

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 7 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch medallions (about 2 cups)
  • 3 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes (canned ok)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. hot smoked paprika
  • A few grinds of African Spice seasoning (Trader Joe's)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 saffron threads (optional)
  • 3 slices, thick center-cut bacon, cut into lardons
  • 2 cups cubed day-old bread

  1. Set a large pot over medium heat. Once it’s hot, heat the olive oil then add the onions and cook for 7 minutes, or until they begin to brown a bit. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the carrots and tomatoes.
  2. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Using an immersion blender, blender or food processor, puree the soup until no large pieces of carrots or tomatoes remain. Return to the pot.
  3. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, paprika and saffron and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  4. While the soup is cooking, set a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon. When the bacon is beginning to turn brown, add the torn bread and cook until golden. Remove with a slotted spatula to a paper towel.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a heap of bacon croutons.

Makes 6 servings. 

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