Linden Font

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Broccoli soup with crispy bacon

Broccoli soup with crispy bacon

There are some weekends where you know you've done yourself some damage. Waking up Sunday morning is the ultimate punishment for a night of excess. This weekend was particularly bad for me. I woke up with a severe case of cotton mouth and a splitting, thumping, brain-bending headache. But for once, these symptoms weren't also accompanied by the "hangover regrets".

My Saturday was not spent holding up a bar or or praying to the porcelain gods. Nope, it was spent on the couch with my main lady (Mumsy Bennetto) watching The Holiday. A bit of cheesy rom-com does wonders for the soul.

Why the hangover symptoms? I'd been for my first run in a seriously long time and it knocked the wind right out of my sails. No, actually, it removed my sails, tore them to shreds, tied them in knots and dropped them to the bottom of a tank full of piranhas. I was ruined. Clearly I had not rehydrated after the run. It may have been something to do with my complete inability to walk to the tap to fill a glass with water. Blistered soles will do that to you. Mind you, if you saw my version of "running" you'd wonder how that slow shuffle could do any damage.

Broccoli soup

But do you know what? Despite sore muscles, gammy knees and red raw feet, it truly felt amazing to hit the track again. Those crazy endorphins kick in and you feel invincible. So much so, I felt I should seal the deal with *kind of* healthy meal for Sunday evening.

I try to keep it pretty clean on a Sunday night - stir fries, grilled proteins and salads are normally the go. Healthy food makes me feel as though I'm undoing all my naughty tricks from the previous two days. I figure if I hit my body with as many veggies as it can handle it's going to go someway to redressing the balance. Of course, the days I can't be fagged and fish and chips are on the menu don't count.

Of all the vegetables in the cosmos, broccoli is the fairest. Little trees, as we used to call them, are packed full of fiber and vitamin C, but honestly, I'm quite partial to their taste. Before you try to argue, have you ever had them with olive oil, chilli, garlic and a little anchovy? No? Then shut your cake hole.

My favourite way with broccoli is a smooth soup. To take the soup to an indulgent new level, I added a little (or a lot) of crispy bacon. This was particularly smokey bacon, so it added a real meaty flavour to the dish. A piece of crusty bread and we had a Sunday meal fit for a king. Or a reformed runner. Your choice.


4 heads of broccoli
1 potato
2 cloves garlic
1 litre chicken stock
2 tbsp cream
8 small rashers of bacon

Broccoli soup with crispy bacon

Heat the stock in a large saucepan. Chop the potato into cubes and add to the stock. Bring to the boil.

Chop the stalks of the broccoli, roughly the same size as the potato cubes and add to the stock. Boil for around ten minutes or until just softened.

Slice up the florets of broccoli and add to the stalks and potatoes. Boil under they are bright green.

Meanwhile, slice the bacon and fry in a saucepan until crispy. Add the sliced garlic and cook for another minute.

Blend the broccoli, potato and stock in a blender until smooth - you may need to do it in two batches. Add salt and pepper to taste and add the cream. Mix until combined.

Serve in a bowl with the crispy bacon and garlic on top. Enjoy with some crusty bread.

Broccoli soup with crispy bacon

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