Broccoli Cheese Soup with Bacon Fat Croutons – Speedy comfort food in a bowl!
Bacon fat croutons. I wasn’t sure whether to include that in the title, thinking it would probably send any health conscious readers running for the hills (sorry guys! It still tastes fab without the croutons!!).
But then I thought about my other readers.
Yes – you guys. The ones who can’t resist the lure of bread, fried in bacon fat.
I always have this internal argument when I make fried bread. It goes something like this:
Voice one: Arteries!!! Think about your arteries!! You’re 37 now. You need to start thinking about grown-up things like avoiding wrinkles, going to bed at a sensible time and protecting your arteries!
Voice two: But it tastes so gooooooooood!
Voice one: Have have some wholemeal toast with a scraping of butter, it’ll be lovely.
Voice two: But that means I have to throw away the bacon fat in the pan. THROW IT AWAY!
Voice one: You should have grilled the bacon instead of frying it in the first place.
Voice two: I’ll have wholemeal toast next time (munching on fried bread).
The good thing about fried bread, is that it comes with the promise of bacon too. I can’t think of a better topping than bacon and fried bread for this creamy, luxurious soup.
A cold Autumn night with a bowl of this broccoli soup = a warm and happy Nicky.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large head of broccoli, stalk removed, chopped into small florets
- 500ml hot vegetable or chicken stock (either homemade or use 2 stock cubes with water. Use bouillon for gluten free)
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- 100g (1½ cups) chopped kale (optional - but it helps the soup to look more vibrantly green, and it's healthy too!)
- 100g (1 cup) mature cheddar cheese
- 60ml (1/4 cup) double (heavy) cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 rashers streaky bacon
- 2 pieces bread, crust removed, cut into 1cm cubed chunks (use gluten-free bread if required)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan, and fry the onion gently for 4-5 minutes until it starts to go translucent. Add in the broccoli, stock and garlic salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the kale in for the last minute so it just wilts.
- Whilst the soup is cooking, make the soup topping. Heat one tbsp of the vegetable oil in a frying pan until hot. Add the bacon and cook on a high heat for 2-3 minutes each side until crispy. Remove the bacon from pan and place on some kitchen paper to drain. Add the remaining one tbsp of oil to the pan and heat on a medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes and cook for 1-2 minutes, moving around the pan all the time, until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and drain on the kitchen paper. Chop the bacon into small pieces.
- Once the soup has cooked, take off the heat and blend using a hand blender. Put back on the heat, add in the cheese and cream and stir until he cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper, then ladle into 3 bowls. Top with the bacon and croutons and serve.