Sunday, January 2, 2011

white bean, endive, and bacon soup

Even though it was 60 degrees in Pittsburgh yesterday, it's hearty winter soup making season in my heart.  How could it not be, the first week of the new year? I'm in a bean phase right now, so Mr. Monk and I whipped up a white bean, bacon, and endive soup as our first extravagance of 2011:

I customized this one a bit by doing half endive half fingerling potato, and I'm glad I did because those potatoes soak in that bacon fat and chicken broth in a most appealing fashion.  Let me tell you:  the heart of this dish is the bacon.  All of the ingredients get simmered in the bacon drippings, giving the soup as a whole a nice smokey bacony flavor.  I've started getting the butcher bacon at whole foods (as opposed to pre-packaged) and it makes a huge difference, it's so nice and thick and salty and fresh and somehow meatier.  Mr. Monk goes CRAZY when he smells me start to work with it.  I admit, I go kind of crazy when I smell it too!  

I kind of wonder how this would have been with just a tiny amount (say 1 can) of diced tomatoes in there too-- I really like acid in my soups!  

It's "pretty good" but probably not good enough to make again.  Although, it is nice that this dish only has about 5 ingredients-- I don't have to buy thirty springs of herbs 90% of which are going to go bad before I ever use what remains of them after my soup making.  Maybe I should start an herb garden.... Maybe after I move!  

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