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Bacon and Cabbage Soup

    1 (1/3-pound) piece Canadian bacon
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
    5 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
    4 bay leaves
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, cored, thinly sliced, and cut
      into 1/2-inch pieces

  In small saucepan, combine bacon and cold water to cover. Cover,
 bring to boil over moderate heat, and skim foam from surface.
 Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes. Drain and cool, then cut into
 1-inch chunks. Set aside.

  In 6-quart heavy stock pot over moderate heat, melt butter. Add
 onion and saute, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add
 potatoes and saute 2 minutes. Add stock, bay leaves, salt, and
 pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover,
 and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add
 cabbage and simmer 5 additional minutes. Discard bay leaves.
 Working in 3 batches, in blender puree soup until smooth (using
 caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot, stir in bacon,
 and rewarm if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.