1.06.2017

CURRIED VEGETABLE SOUP WITH BACON HERB CROUTONS



January is the perfect time for soup. I love soup all year long but there is just something about cold temps and the focus on health that makes me turn to these warming nutrient packed bowls of deliciousness after the new year.

My favorite soup is also the easiest and most customizable. You can make creamy curried vegetable soup by simply throwing some veggies in a pot, bringing to a boil, adding spices and blending.


This post is really more of a method rather than a recipe. The list of ingredients can be modified based on your preferences and what you have on hand - vegetarian? Use coconut oil instead of bacon fat and vegetable stock instead of chicken. Have LOTS of vegetables to cook? Add more to the pot and increase the amount of stock. Once you learn the method you can use your imagination and make different soups based on your own unique tastes and the ingredients you have on hand.

My weekly grocery runs always start in the produce aisle. I fill my cart with all the most fresh and enticing fruits and vegetables. The following week I usually have a few vegetables in the crisper that need to be eaten before I go to the store again. I have a few star dishes that make it easy to use up all the random vegetables that are left - stir fry, fried rice, breakfast frittatas and this creamy curried vegetable soup.

Gather your ingredients 

6 ounces chopped bacon - about half a package or 6 slices. I prefer uncured or thick sliced smoked bacon from Hemplers, 1 medium chopped onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (can be omitted if you don't like spicy), 3-4 cups assorted rough chopped vegetables, 3-4 cups chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste

 Heat a large stockpot over medium high heat and add chopped bacon. . 

Once cooked, remove bacon. Reserve half the grease in a small bowl and keep remainder in the pot.

Return stockpot to stove and reduce heat to medium.

 Add onion and cook until soft. 

Add garlic, red pepper flakes and curry powder. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Add vegetables and cook until beginning to soften.


Add chicken stock to cover the vegetables. If you add too much your soup will be very thin and not creamy, so add just enough so that the stock comes to right above the vegetables.


Bring to a boil and simmer until flavors combine, about 5 minutes.


Remove from heat. Let cool slightly and pour half of the soup into a blender. Or, use an immersion blender to puree directly in the pot.

Blend until smooth and repeat with the other half. 

Return to stockpot. Season to taste with salt and pepper and return to simmer.

Meanwhile, gather your toppings. Toppings are crucial for adding flavor and texture to creamy soups. Croutons are a great option and so easy to make at home. I made homemade bacon herb croutons from Udi's gluten free bread but you can really use any bread and keep it simple with just oil or add any flavor you desire. Other than croutons, bacon, seeds, sour cream, plain yogurt, chile sauce, and cheese make great toppings.

To make croutons, heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cube bread into bite size pieces.


Add chopped garlic, garlic powder, salt and pepper and chopped herbs to the reserved bacon grease. 

Add bread cubes to bowl and toss to coat.

Spread in an even layer on baking sheet and bake until browned, about 30 minutes.


Pour soup in bowls and garnish as desired.

Some of my favorite flavor combinations are curried butternut squash with cilantro and feta, brocolli with bacon and cheddar, cauliflower with basil and spicy chile oil and pumpkin with pepitas and greek yogurt.  What creamy vegetable soups are your favorite? What do you like to top them with?

If you try this recipe I want to know what you think. Leave a comment and let me know and don't forget to take a picture and share it on my facebook page or tag me on instagram.

enjoy!



Creamy Curried Vegetable Soup
By Tristin Rieken of ONEarmedMAMA.com
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3-4 cups rough chopped vegetables (brocolli, cauliflower, chard, bell peppers, potatoes, squash, ANYTHING)
  • 3-4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  • In a large pot cook bacon over medium high heat. 
  • Once cooked, remove bacon and reserve for garnish.
  • Keep 3 tablespoons of bacon grease and return to stove top over medium heat.
  • Add onion, and cook until beginning to soften.
  • Add garlic, curry powder, red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
  • Add broth to cover vegetables.
  • Increase the heat to high to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer uncovered 5-10 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste and return to simmer.
  • Garnish with bacon and serve.

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