Add Bacon to Creamy Soups and Chowders

The main complaint I hear about soup is that it’s “not food” and maybe some of them aren’t. It’s true that some soups are watery and miserable, but there’s an easy fix: if your soup is stock based, add more ; if you have a creamy puree soup (or chowder), mix something in there.

My love for mixing foods into soups is pretty well documented, especially when it’s sautéed onions , but vegetables aren’t the only things you can add to a cream pot. At the risk of full epic bacon, I suggest you make it meatier and mix the cooked bacon straight into your soup.

That’s right, we use meat as seasoning. We’ve done this before – remember the marinara sausage ? — and I don’t understand why we can’t do it again. A couple of strips of bacon mixed into the soup will give it a smoky, salty and meaty character without obscuring the rest of the ingredients. Double that and the jerky will be one of the top tasting notes. (That’s not bad—split peas have a strong ham flavor and make a great soup.)

I don’t recommend mixing bacon (or anything really) with stock like any noodle soup, but chowders and anything in the “cream out” genre is fair game. For a four-serving batch of soup, cut two to four strips of bacon into one-inch-thick pieces. Fry them until crispy, then remove the bacon from the fat and drain on paper towels. Cook vegetables and flavors in bacon fat as usual and proceed with the soup recipe. When you get to the mixing stage, add the bacon along with all the other ingredients and mix, baby, mix. It works particularly well in corn or potato chowder, but I wouldn’t hate it in homemade mushroom cream or store-bought cream of anything that needs a little boost.


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