Monday, February 6, 2012

A Lil' Cabbage Bacon Love

Maybe it's because of my eastern-European roots that I love cabbage, and because of my Oklahoma blood (on my moms side) that I love bacon (my grandma Carol cooks everything in bacon grease…we even have a family recipe for salad smothered in warm bacon grease dressing, but that's for another day). 

Or, maybe it's just that these two things effing rock. Which they do. Especially together. And even more especially when you add little gems of mini cabbage heaven—Brussels sprouts—to the mix. And triple, no, quadruple that especially by throwing in some sour cream and lemon. You heard me. Cabbage, bacon, Brussels, sour cream, lemon. And the bacon is actually pancetta, fancy-town. Oh, and I'm talkin' about soup. I know! Life=complete. 

Cabbage and Potato Soup with Crispy Topping & Lemony Cream
Adapted from Bon Appétit 

1/2 cup sour cream
juice and zest from half a lemon

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped
1 large onion, diced
3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes 
1 bay leaf
6 cups (or more) chicken broth
1 sprig fresh thyme 
salt and pepper

1 cup thinly sliced brussels sprouts
2 1/4th inch thick slices of pancetta, diced small*
olive oil
salt and pepper

Whisk sour cream, lemon juice, and zest l in small bowl. Cover and chill. 

Melt butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and onion, and sauté until just tender but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in potatoes, add bay leaf and thyme. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400. Spread brussels and pancetta on a sheet pan, and light drizzle with olive oil. sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until pancetta is crispy and brussels are slightly charred but not burnt. Keep an eye on it, it could take anywhere from 5-10 minutes (and you may want to give it a stir after a few minutes). Remove from one and set aside. 

Discard bay leaf and thyme sprig from soup. Using immersion blender (or regular blender, working in batches), puree until smooth. Simmer until heated through, adding more broth if soup is too thick. 

Top each serving with some of the crispy brussels and pancetta, and a hearty dollop of the lemony sour cream. 

*I get the 2 pieces of pancetta from the deli/meat counter. You can get exactly as much or little as you need, just thick enough, without paying a million dollars. 
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