Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BLT Soup

Years ago I had a soup similar to this in Davenport.  I had to try and reproduce it because I loved it and the idea so much.  I think I have come close to it.  Sorry to say the restaurant is no longer in operation.  

8 slices bacon, diced small (Save some for garnish)
1/2 cup diced onion
2 tablespoon butter
Iceberg, bib or any leaf lettuce (I'm using Iceberg)
1/4 cup flour
3 1/2 cup heated beef broth
3 large diced fresh peeled and deseeded tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and pepper

Heat water until it comes to a boil.  Core 3 large tomatoes and put them into the boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds.  Take out and put into cool water.  Peel the tomatoes and squeeze them to get the seeds out of them.  Chop them up finely and set aside. I’m using some of my heirloom tomatoes.  You could use canned tomatoes here if you want.  I just want to use up my fresh ones while I have them plus there is more nutrition with fresh.  Put in approximately 2 cups of chopped tomato.  I like to use cheap paper plates since I don't have a dishwasher and it saves on lots of dishes. I also use one for a garbage plate. I just toss the plate.

Skinned and squeezed heirloom tomatoes before chopping
In a 3 quart pot, cook the bacon over medium heat till lightly browned. I use pre-cooked bacon to save time and mess so only had to brown a bit more Set some aside for garnish (about 1/3 of the bacon).  Add the onions and cook, stirring, until translucent and soft. Add the butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir the roux until well blended.
In a separate pan, heat up your beef broth.  Luckily I had some left over from my soup bone I cooked a couple of days ago but you can use canned.  Remove the soup from the heat and add the hot beef broth, chopped tomatoes, and nutmeg. Put back on the heat and heat the soup to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes to let the tomatoes cook down. Reduce heat to low so you do not curdle the half and half.  Add the half and half and mix well. Mix together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Taste for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.  I add a little.  After I tasted mine, I felt because I used my heirloom tomatoes and they lack acid, I added 3 tsp. of ketchup to give some acidity. Taste and don't be afraid to add small amounts of what you think you would like. Keep tasting until you are happy.  Start small though.  If you like a little heat add a pinch of red pepper flakes.  I tried hard to stick with a standard BLT tasting soup.
You have a nice tomato soup base that you are now going to make into your BLT by serving each portion of soup with some chopped lettuce, bacon and a few croutons floating on top.  I’m using a homemade garlic crouton, but you can use store bought bread croutons or just cut up some toasted bread.  Serves 8 cups or 4 bowls.

It has everything a BLT has from the bread and mayo to the BLT.  It is a wonderful soup for a cold fall day.

Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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