Monday, October 4, 2010

Rerun: Harvest Soup with Apples and Bacon

Harvest Soup with Apples and Bacon

Sometimes, I love a good rerun. Even if you read about this one the first time I posted it, it's worth repeating. It's delicious, comforting and tastes like fall in a bowl.

Actually, it's EXACTLY what I needed after a day like today. It's like when I woke up this morning, I just knew what kind of day I was going to have, you know?

First, I think I should explain I meal plan. Each week, I choose 7 dinners to make each week.

Usually two require more prep time/cook time. These are reserved for Saturdays and Sundays when time isn't an issue. I also usually want something, like a seafood dish, that doesn't reheat well. I make those kinds of things on Thursdays because I eat out most Fridays with my friends at work and don't need to pack a lunch.

The rest of the days I pick something off my planned meals that sounds good. This morning, the winner was Harvest Soup with Apples and Bacon.

It's a comforting soup fit for a long, cold day. It's a soup perfect for a day that starts with a traffic jam that makes you late and causes seriously powerwalk the 1/4 mile to your building (arm pumping and all) just so you wouldn't miss your 8:30 meeting.

It's good for a day where stuff starts going downhill by lunch and when you look up you realize it's half an hour past quitting time and you still have a crap ton of work to do. It cures a serious case of the "Mondays."

I'm not even exaggerating when I say this soup and (and a stint on the elliptical after work) totally made my day. I love the saltiness of the bacon with the sweetness of the soup. I love a good sweet/salty combo. I love how I can taste the potatoes and squash without it being overwhelming. Afterall, squash and I have a love/hate relationship.

Plus, I'm one of those sick people who actually like chopping after a long, stressful day. I could have done without all the peeling, though. I hate peeling.

Harvest Soup with Apples and Bacon
From Everyday with Rachael Ray

8 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 granny smith apples, 2 1/2 peeled and chopped (reserve the other half)
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
8 ounces celery root, peeled and chopped
8 ounces turnips, peeled and chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme (I used a little bit of dried instead)
32 ounces chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-low heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. When bacon is done, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel.

Add onion and cook over medium heat until soft -- about 8 minutes. Add the chopped apples, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, celery root, turnips and thyme. Cover and cook until vegetables are crisp tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the broth and 5 cups of water, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Discard the thyme stem if using and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or pour the soup in a blender and carefully puree it until smooth. Finely chop the remaining 1/2 of the apple and top the soup with the crumbled bacon, diced apple and thyme leaves.