Basque soup

This is another one from the recipes around the world chapter, going multinational this week! This is a recipe from France


2lb streaky bacon rashers diced
6 onions sliced
1.5 pints stock
6-8 slices stale white bread
2oz Parmesan or other strong cheese grated
0.5 pint single cream

Place the bacon in a pan and fry gently until most of the fat has been extracted; drain on kitchen paper. Fry the onions in the fat remaining in the pan until soft but not coloured. Add the stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Place several slices of the bread in the base of an ovenproof casserole. Sprinkle with a little cheese and some of the cooked bacon and add 2-3 tbsps cream; repeat this layering until all the bacon has been used and the casserole is full. Pour over the onion stock and re-heat in oven at 180 for 15 minutes.

This recipes is enough for 4-6, I halved it and was still stunned at the amount of bacon! Halving it I still needed 1lb, which is a hell of a lot. I do love bacon but even to me I was worried this was way too much. I used 3 slices of bread, I cut them up into three to use to layer the casserole. Also I thought it seemed like a lot of cream. By time I’d layered up the bread, bacon and cream my casserole was only half full, it was probably too big anyway. I had three layers so didn’t finish all the cream either.

I did a bit of research to try establish if this is a traditional recipe. I found a few references to Basque soup but they were referring to healthy soups with lots of vegetables and pinto beans! Well I think the sheer amount of bacon makes that a pretty unhealthy soup!

By time it came out of the oven the bread had soaked up the oniony stock and was more of a stew like dish than a soup. Got to say it was pretty damn tasty; only if you like bacon!!! It was pretty stodgy, good comfort food. I think the cream could easily be left out, that may reduce some of the calories!

Would I make this again? Yes, filling and tasty and easy to make


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