SMOKED BACON, LEEK & BUTTER BEAN SOUP
Delicious Magazine refer to this dish as a chowder. However the term chowder can be very loosely associated with this dish, as pointed out by my step dad, stating it can’t be a chowder due to the lack of fish. Therefore to gain approval it will be known as a soup.
This is a perfect dish for the time of the year. If you’d prefer a vegetarian option, substitute the smoked bacon with toasted hazelnuts.
- 50g Unsalted Butter
- 350g Leeks (Thickly Sliced)
- 200g Smoked Bacon Lardons
- 1 Tsp Olive Oil
- 1 Small Onion (Finely Chopped)
- 1 Litre Milk (Full Fat/ Semi Skimmed)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 50g Plain Flour
- 200ml Chicken Stock
- 2 x 400g Cans Butter Beans (Rinsed & Drained)
- 100ml Single Cream
- 3 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
- Melt half the butter in a large pan. Add the sliced leeks, stir well to coat with butter and season lightly. Cover and cook gently for 3 minutes until just tender and still bright green. Tip the leeks into a bowl and set aside.
- Return the pan to a medium heat, add the bacon lardons and oil, then fry gently until the lardons have released some of their fat. Increase the heat to high and fry a little more briskly until lightly golden. Add the rest of the butter and the onion to the pan, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the onion is soft but not browned.
- Meanwhile, gently heat the milk and bay leaves together in a separate pan.
- Stir the flour into the bacon and onions, then cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the stock, then stir in the warm milk and bring almost to the boil. Add the butter beans and season to taste, then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves, stir in the leeks and cream, then bring back to a simmer. Stir in the parsley and season to taste. Serve in bowls with fresh homemade bread.