Bacon, Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Casting pearls before swine?

Waste not want not. Why toss out the bacon fat when you can use it in place of butter in some recipes? Throwing away bacon fat is akin to casting pearls before swine.

Bacon fat is lower in saturated fat than butter. And not by a wee bit! Bacon fat contains a whopping 42% less saturated fat than butter*.  And it’s higher in the good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Not to mention that it adds a new dimension of flavor to your dish.

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For this recipe, there is more than enough bacon fat rendered when you cook the bacon that is the first step of this recipe. I used the boss hog bacon slab that I froze last time I made a bacon-based soup. This hickory-smoked bacon is great for lending smoky and salty flavor to the soup without overwhelming it. Cutting the bacon slab into 1/2 inch cubes makes a great garnish and a good size to use when blending. You will add back 1/2 of the cooked bacon before you blend the soup and it makes such a difference. The bacon blended in adds a tiny bit of bacon in each “bite” of this soup.

Some folks save bacon drippings in a jar to have on hand for cooking. If you store your bacon fat it should be kept in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and stored in the refrigerator.

Serve this soup with skillet bacon & cheddar cornbread or a baguette and a crisp cold salad with lots of brightly colored vegetables and you’ll be eating high on the hog.

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You can freeze the leftovers, but leftovers of this hearty tasty soup will happen when pigs fly. So go whole hog and serve this up without breaking the piggy bank.

 

*Source: Sue Snider, Ph.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist, Food and Nutrition Facts, FNF-18 .University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, March 1997.

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