Sunday, December 14, 2014

Applegate Uncured Good Morning Bacon: Creamy Bacon, Mushroom and Onion Soup

I love my association with Applegate. They produce clean meat products without hormones or antibiotics, and I like clean meats without hormones or antibiotics. Win, win I'd say.

A few days ago the folks at Applegate sent me a box with a couple of packages of their Good Morning Bacon inside. In my opinion it is not exactly traditional bacon by definition, but pretty darn close. This bacon is made with meat from the pork shoulder instead of the belly, resulting in a cut of meat that is 60% lower in fat than regular bacon but is still pretty tasty.

Now, I didn't exactly admit to Applegate (like I am admitting to you now) that I am not a real breakfast girl. All I know is they said "bacon", and I said "yes". If given a choice I would much rather have leftovers from the night before for breakfast than eggs any day. When it comes to bacon though, I can eat it 3 times a day, so I think I am qualified.

For this post I did actually consider doing something breakfasty like an egg sandwich, but I believe that most people already have their own favorite recipe for those. I also thought about making some pancakes and spiking them with bacon, but it seems like I already did that a few months ago. So to be true to myself, I decided to use this delicious, super lean bacon in one of my favorite soups, cream of mushroom.

I stopped buying most canned soups years ago. Once I discovered how easy most of them are to make, I kicked the can in favor of homemade. The biggest trick of all to making homemade soups is not getting carried away and making too much. Who needs 6 gallons of soup for a family of four? The only other problem I ever had was adding too much rice or pasta. After years of dry soups in the fridge, I now only put about half as much pasta or rice in as I feel inclined to. Thanks to this rule and lots of bacon, they now turn out great every time.

For more information about Applegate and their products, including their Good Morning Bacon, please click here.

Creamy Bacon, Mushroom and Onion Soup

This soup certainly isn't just something that you add to casseroles, although you certainly can if you like. This soup is a meal in itself. Flavorful, hearty and elegant enough to serve to your mother-in-law. Make this once and you'll kick the can too.

4 ounces Applegate Good Morning Bacon or lean streaky bacon, chopped
3 nice big shallots (or 1/2 of a small yellow onion), finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter or light olive oil or a combination of both
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cup HOT chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup of your favorite white wine (can be substituted with additional stock)
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (Whole milk can be used but you will have to increase the flour by an additional tablespoon to thicken the soup. If heated too high for too long, milk can curdle, so I advise adding it at the end of the cooking time, just long enough to heat it through.)
1 healthy pinch white pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

Place bacon in a large saucepan set over medium high heat. Cook, stirring frequently until it is browned. Add the shallots and cook for 1 - 2 minutes longer or until they start to sweat. Add the Mushrooms and cook for 2 - 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently. To this stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

Sprinkle the flour over the top of the mushrooms in the pan. After stirring and cooking for about a minute longer, slowly add the hot stock while stirring constantly. Add the white wine, whipping cream, pepper and rosemary. Bring to a boil before reducing heat to low, covering and simmering for 5 minutes.

Before serving add salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot with croutons or crumbled bacon sprinkled on top.

This recipe serves 2 large dinner size portions or 4 small appetizer size portions.

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