March 23, 2011 § 5 Comments
Bacon is a treat for me. I rarely purchase it because I worry about how happy those little pigs might have been in their lives. But as much as the well-behaved wholesome environmentalist in me protests, I secretly love bacon. I have tried not to, but the pleasure has remained, pure bacon enjoyment when it is on my plate. So in order to overcome my internal battles, I have justified eating it every now and again, provided its happy bacon. The bacon I have used in this recipe is biodynamic and free range, which if you are in Melbourne, you can find at Belmore Biodynamic Meats in Thornbury.
Now I also happen to think that a very good place for bacon, possibly even the best, is in soup. In saying that, I have to admit I have a bit of a soup obsession. It is probably my most favourite food in the whole wide world. If I had to choose just one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would be soup, no questions asked.
This soup came about because as usual for this time of year there are whale like zucchini’s everywhere. I think the zucchini is balanced nicely with the richness of the bacon and the freshness of the lemon and thyme. You may have begun to notice my love affair with lemon and thyme… if not, Im sure you soon will, they seem to make their way into a lot of my cooking these days.
Recipe for zucchini and bacon soup
Good splash olive oil
1 large onion diced
4 – 5 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp paprika
zest of 1/2 a lemon
3 – 4 medium-sized potatoes (I used toolangi delights, purple and beautiful)
About 1.2 kg zucchini
1 good tsp good quality vegetable stock
couple of sprigs thyme plus more for garnish
4 free range organic bacon rashers
Juice of half a lemon
In a large saucepan saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add the paprika and lemon zest and stir until fragrant. Add the potatoes, zucchini, stock, salt and pepper. Add enough water to just cover the vegetables. Simmer until the vegetables are nice and soft. Add the thyme, simmer for a tiny bit longer and then blend with a potato masher. If you have a blender feel free to use that, I don’t have one so i work by hand but I also like the no machine approach of the potato masher because I’m a bit quaint like that.
Slice up the bacon and fry in a pan until browned. Add to the soup along with the fresh lemon juice.
Serve in nice deep bowls and top with a bit more lemon rind and fresh thyme.
Serves 4 big bowls with a bit left over for lunch the next day. Because soup is always better the next day!