As Rachel mentions in her bio, a vegetarian diet can be enhanced by bacon. Though my husband is a meat-eater, he doesn’t mind foregoing meat at home, and I never buy or cook meat for him. Except, of course, bacon. Here is a soup that is topped not only with bacon, but also with bacon-grease-fried leeks and bacon-grease-toasted bread.
Aside from the presence of bacon, this is actually a deceptively light soup. It tastes creamy and it’s definitely hearty, but it contains no cream, only milk, and a lot of its bulk comes from cauliflower. I had several potatoes to use up, but if I didn’t, I would probably make it with about a 2:1 ratio of cauliflower to potatoes.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- One head cauliflower (or more, if you want to decrease the amount of potato)
- Several potatoes; I used 2 red and 4 small yukon golds
- 4 cubes bullion
- 3 cups Milk
- One yellow onion
- Garlic (the amount is usually determined by how much I can peel before I get impatient)
- The white and light green parts of one leek
- Shredded cheddar
- 6 slices bacon
- Baguette for dipping
- Whatever spices you want; I used paprika, chives, pepper, and cayenne
1. Chop the cauliflower and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Roast at 400 until the edges brown, about 20 minutes. (If you are in a rush, you can skip roasting the cauliflower, and just simmer it along with the potatoes. But the roasting does give it a nice flavor and consistency.)
2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and garlic and saute in a large pot until translucent.
3. Dice potatoes. Add them to the pot along with your chosen spices.
4. Add the 3 cups milk and 2 cups water. Put in the bullion cubes. (I started with 3, and worked my way up to 4.5 by the time I was done cooking the soup.)
5. Let the pot simmer. Whenever the cauliflower is done, add it. I reserved a little because I wanted some cauliflower chunks left in the soup, but that’s up to you.
6. While it simmers, cook up the bacon. Chop it into small pieces. Set aside.
7. Chop leek. Saute it in the bacon grease until soft and tasty. Set aside.
8. Once the potatoes are soft, break out the immersion blender. Blend that shit. At this point you might decide you need more bullion, or more water/milk to thin it down.
9. Slice baguette and put it in the skillet with the remaining bacon grease. Brown both sides.
10. Serve up the soup and top it with the leeks, bacon, and cheddar. Use the bread for dipping. I had green onion, so I added that too.