I don’t need an excuse to eat or cook bacon..the sound and smell of it sizzling is enough to get me out of bed in the morning! However, this week it is Bacon Connoisseur’s Week, and it has been a timely reminder to use it for more than just the usual family breakfast.
It is a fabulous high protein food and now so much lower in fat than when I was girl. Two rashers/slices of grilled bacon contain about 13g protein; have high levels of viamin B1 and B12; and contain both zinc and selenium to boost immunity.
There are so many ways to use bacon..I like to use some of the more sweeter cured ones in risottos and pastas; oak-smoked ones in my bariatric-version of Eggs Benedict; a mustard-cured version in a scone recipe; and traditional Wiltshire-cured wrapped around extra-lean chipolatas when serving roast chicken and turkey.
But where did the saying ‘to bring home the bacon originate’? Well there are several possible origins but this is my favourite and goes back almost 1,000 years ago to the Essex village of Dunmow. Here it is said, in AD 1111 a noble woman offered a prize of a side of bacon, known locally as flitch, to any man from anywhere in England who could honestly say that he had complete marital harmony for the preceding year and a day. In over 500 years there were only 8 winners!
I always have bacon in my refrigerator and this week had some hickory-smoked streaky/American style bacon on the shelf. I used it to make this mouth-watering soup recipe with carrots and butterbeans. It could be pureed and therefore suitable for the amber/soft or pureed stage of eating after surgery. It is wonderful if left chunky and some might like to serve it to other family members with a little French bread smeared with just a dab of pesto and a large rasher of crispy bacon…as my husband enjoys it!
BACON, CARROT, BUTTERBEAN AND CORIANDER SOUP
6 rashers/slices hickory smoked bacon, chopped
1 large onion, thinly sliced
450g/1lb carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
900 ml/33/4 cups ham stock/bouillon (from a cube if liked)
1 tsp ground coriander/cilantro
freshly ground black pepper
400g/14 oz can butter beans, drained
2 tbsp/3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
1. Dry fry the bacon in a large non-stick pan for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion, carrots and saute for a further 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the stock/bouillon, ground coriander/cilantro, black pepper to taste and the butter beans. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
3. Stir in the chopped fresh coriander/cilantro to serve.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
* Suitable for freezing
CALORIES PER PORTION: 170
Image courtesy of www.lovepork.co.uk