Creamy Bubble and Squeak Soup with Crunchy Bacon
Serves 4 – 6
Cooking time 45 mins (vegetable prep time as long as it takes you)
Bubble and squeak is reputed to have got its name because it echoes the sound the ingredients make when frying. Usually thought of as a nineteenth-century dish of potato and cabbage leftovers, the dish was originally made with beef and cabbage, without potato. Here, I have taken the potatoes and mixed them with onions and Brussels sprouts, the alternative to cabbage. This version has been blitzed to a smooth, creamy-soft finish, but it can, if preferred, he left in its rustic, brothy consistency. The flavours and texture can he enhanced by a last-minute addition of slivers of bacon cooked to a crisp.
This recipe is perfect at Christmas time if you have leftover sprouts, potatoes and crispy bacon rashers from Christmas lunch that you want to use up.
- 2 large onions, roughly diced
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in rough 1cm (½ in) dice
- 1 litre Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 250 g (9 oz) Brussels sprouts, finely shredded and rinsed
- 125 ml (4 fl oz) single cream
- 8 rashers of streaky bacon, rinded and cut into thin strips
- Salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Once bubbling, add the onions and potatoes. Cook without colouring for 5—10 minutes, until beginning to soften. The stock can now he added. Bring to the simmer and cook for 20—25 minutes, until the vegetables are totally cooked.
Season the soup with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Bring to the boil and add the shredded sprouts. Allow the soup to simmer vigorously for 6—8 minutes, until the sprouts become tender.
The soup can now he completely liquidized and then pushed through a sieve for a smooth, creamy finish. Add the single cream and check the seasoning.
Cook the bacon strips while the soup is being made, grill in the oven. Begin to cook the bacon on a fairly high heat. This will seal the individual strips. After a minute or two, reduce the cooking temperature so the bacon is just bubbling. As the bacon cooks, its natural fat will melt, letting it ’deep-fry in its own oil. Continue until the strips are a deep colour and have become very crispy, almost like crackling. Strain off the fat and sit the bacon pieces on kitchen paper to absorb any remaining oil. You now have crunchy bacon, which eats very well sprinkled over the bubble and squeak soup.
Note:- For vegetarians, omit the bacon strips and cook the vegetables in vegetable stock. The soup can also be served as a bubble and squeak broth. Simply cut the onions and potatoes into neat 1 cm ( in) dice, and follow the recipe, adding the shredded sprouts. Once all the vegetables are cooked, add 50 g (2 oz) butter in place of the single cream. The bacon can be an optional extra.
Creamy Bubble and Squeak Soup with Crunchy Bacon; (From Gary Rhodes New British Classics – Page 29)