Monday, November 25, 2013

Bacon Bits, Take One

Portion control. That's the ticket. We are finding that we can eat just about anything we want and we won't gain weight if we exercise a little control over the portion sizes. We eat well, we just eat too much.

So, when you practice restraint, you end up with all kinds of interesting leftovers. For example, if you cook but don't eat the entire quarter pound of bacon that you bought (Nueske's bacon!) at Baron's Meats, you have some rashers left over for future meals.

Like soup. Kabocha squash, carrot and shallot soup. 

With bacon bits as the garnish. As a garnish, bacon bits have no equal. They are the epitome of garnish, the king of garnish, the zenith.

I'm digging this portion control thing.

Roasted Kabocha Squash, Carrot and Shallot Soup

1/2 kabocha squash, halved, seeded, and roasted in a 350 degree oven until tender, then scraped out - about 1-1/2 cups squash.
2 big shallots, chopped
2 big carrots, thickly sliced
1 Tbs olive oil
2-4 cups chicken broth, depending on how liquid you like your soup.
1 rasher of crisped bacon, finely chopped
salt, pepper

It may seem like a lot of work for a bowl of soup, but you can do it in stages, roasting the squash a day or two before and refrigerating it until you are ready to make the soup. Also, once the soup is made, you can refrigerate it until you are ready to serve. Then, heat gently to piping hot (better not to boil it), and add the bacon bits.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil, and add the chopped shallot, cooking just until the shallot begins to brown on the edges.  Add the squash and the carrots, and cover with chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until all the veggies are very soft.

Remove the pot from the stove and cool until it is safe to use an immersion blender or a regular blender. Purée the soup, adding more chicken broth if needed until it reaches the desired consistency. 

You can do this much ahead and refrigerate for a day or two if need be, then gently reheat the soup to piping hot, sprinkle on the bacon bits, and serve.


Blogger Namastenancy said...

Bacon bits do wonders for green beans as well. Mushrooms, leeks, cabbage - all go better with a bit of the bacon for seasoning. I freeze my bacon in small strips and only use 1 or 2 at a time. It's not that I wouldn't LIKE to go whole hog but I am trying to be mindful.

Monday, November 25, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, good idea to freeze it in small quantities. We are doing a little of that, too. Another way to get bacon flavor into things is to save the bacon fat when you cook the bacon in a small container in the fridge, then use it instead of olive oil or butter when you cook. A little brings a lot of flavor.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013  
Blogger Greg said...

Souper! Sorry couldn't help myself ;) If I have soup for a first course I find I eat less.Go figure.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, makes sense to me - the liquid would get in to your bloodstream faster and tell your body it has been fed.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013  

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