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January 7, 2003

Bacon and egg soup
Posted by Teresa at 09:40 PM *

1 lb. good bacon
1/2 C. chopped shallots
3/4 C. frozen spinach or collard greens
1/2 C. water
4 eggs
3 cans Campbell’s chicken broth
1/3 C. shelled chopped pistachios
3/4 C. fresh cilentro, loosely chopped
3/4 C. grated muenster cheese
several T. heavy cream, to taste
black pepper, sage, mace
2 T. dry sherry

Chop the bacon and the shallots both small and fry them together in a pan until the bacon is crisped. Set them aside. Drain off all the grease except a little, and use that and the water to cook the collards until they soften. Turn off the fire and let your pan cool while you beat four eggs, then beat the chicken broth into them. Pour this into the pan with the collards and heat, stirring constantly, until the soup thickens. This will be sudden, so keep your fire moderate and watch closely. While you’re stirring, throw in the pistachios and cilentro, and season to taste with black pepper, a good pinch of rubbed sage, and a little mace. When the soup has thickened, turn off the fire and keep stirring. Add the crisp bacon and onions, and a little later the cheese, stirring the whiles until the cheese melts. Temper it up with sherry and cream and serve it forth.

This is a consoling soup, good for staving off or ameliorating a cold. I make it in a pan like a non-stick wok, and find it answers very well.

Addendum: You can also make this with leftover baked ham and the juices from its baking. A very nice addition is queso de freir, also known as queso para freir, queso fresco, queso blanco fresco, and panela. It’s a crumbly white Hispanic cheese that doesn’t melt when you cook it. If you take a slice and fry it in a little oil, browning it on both sides, it’s like an entire slice of the little crispy bits you get around the edges of a grilled cheese sandwich. Take several of these browned cheese slices and use your scissors to cut them up into strips. At the last minute, throw them into the soup in place of the grated cheese.

[Recipe Index]

Comments on Bacon and egg soup:
#1 ::: Dorothy Rothschild ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2003, 04:29 AM:

Don't you need separate blogs for this recipe and the Kosher Chinese food discussion?

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2003, 04:58 AM:

Hah! I hadn't thought of that. It is a treyf-o-rama recipe.

#3 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2003, 05:20 AM:

I was thinking "treyfalicious," but same difference.

I'm making piroshki tomorrow, but I'm going to have to try this soon.

#4 ::: Sam ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2003, 09:58 AM:

That comforted feeling you get? It's the treyf trance.

#5 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2003, 12:00 PM:

What I really want to know is:

Does it have to be _Campbell's_ chicken broth?

#6 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2003, 12:22 PM:

Ah, oui! C'est treyformidable!

#7 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2003, 04:44 PM:

This line:

2 T. dry sherry

Boggled me for a brief moment. Like: "Huh, it comes in a powder now?"

#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2003, 07:38 PM:

Kate, Campbell's is more concentrated than most other commercial chicken stock. They say to dilute it, but I just use it straight. Making your own is of course preferable.

What happened was that after Patrick tasted his dinner, he told me I had to write that one down. I typed out my best recollection of what I'd done. Happens it was a canned chicken stock kind of night.

Bob, I don't have to tell you how atrocious that was.

Stefan, you returned the favor; it took me several seconds to figure out what you meant. If there's any residual confusion, just remember: cocktail sherry, not Harvey's Bristol Cream.

#9 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2003, 07:43 PM:

Sounds delicious, and it is _sooo_ not on David's diet. I'll have to try it when he's out of town.

#10 ::: sarge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2003, 01:27 PM:

sounds good!

#11 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2003, 01:47 PM:

That does it! I'm printing this sucker, buying all the ingredients and trying this out ASAP.

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2003, 04:21 PM:

John, the two things to remember are that the quantities are not scientific, and that you have to stir briskly when the egg starts to coagulate. If you don't stir it enough, it'll be a little less like a cream soup and a little more like a very eggy egg drop soup.

Which reminds me of something I should have added...

#13 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2003, 09:54 AM:

Okay, just got back from Stop & Shop with everything but the Sherry. (Only annoyance were the pistachios. No shelled available; I'll have to shell 'em and 'cut' them up myself.)

Thanks for the added note, Teresa. If I don't screw this up I'll report back with the results. (Silence means abject failure and the cook has retreated in humiliation to the liquor closet....)

#14 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2003, 02:35 PM:

Well, I'm feeling fat and happy. Everything worked out very well—and I have plenty left over for supper when my wife gets back.

Couple of things: I probably put in too much spinach, but it certainly didn't dampen the taste. Also, having to shell the pistachios and then crush them up in a mortar and pestle worked out nicely too.

Everything coagulated perfectly. I had a close call on overdoing the bacon, because I had the bright idea of taking some digital snaps of the whole process which I briefly thought of posting; so I abandoned the stove for about 30 seconds. All for nothing since I forgot to bring home my Powerbook's Fireward card....


I skipped the sherry and tried some brandy, as all we have is Harvey's and you had not recommended that. I wonder if this recipe would stand an extra egg? Mine turned out nice and rich, and I stirred like a maniac to make sure.

End result: delicious, especially on a cold, crisp winter day.

#15 ::: Madeleine Reardon Dimond ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2003, 01:39 PM:

It snowed _again_ today, so I'm going to make this for supper tonight. The recipe is somewhat similar to one in _The Ultimate Low Carbohydrate Cookbook_ (my new fav because it has better suggestions for baking flour than soy), but yours has more tasty items.

But, honey chile, can y'all really buy collards up this far north? And where did a Southwest girl learn about them? A great cultural divide has been breached.


#16 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 22, 2003, 03:10 PM:

Madeleine, what makes you think I grew up north of the Mason-Dixon Line?

Actually, I'm from Arizona, where it doesn't count. I forget where I learned to eat collards, but I know I learned to appreciate them in Brooklyn. Around the holidays, my local groceries ship in heroic quantities of fresh collard greens.

If you're ever looking for a place to eat around here, try Junior's, a long-established restaurant where the cuisine has evolved into a sort of deli/Southern fusion with a few Caribbean touches, and the cheesecake is by general agreement the best in New York City. They do great collards.

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