Sunday was a blustery cold day. It was also a day I have waited for some time, my version of the Super Bowl, the premiere of Season 3 of Downton Abbey. Gasp!!
Two things are certain, first: a hearty soup on a chilly day is a good idea and second: the image of the Crawley family sitting down for dinner and starting with a warm bowl of something in fine china. Both of these things inspired me to make this cabbage, bean and bacon soup.
Food in the Edwardian period was a sign of wealth. Breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner were an elegant affair and required a clothing change. The food separated the different class systems, but one dish kept the two in unison, soup. Soup has and always will be a proper wholesome meal for all.
Downtown Abbey is soup for my soul. As a photographer, the scenery mesmerizes my eyes and inspires me. The writing is superb and not so much about the amount of words but the moments in between the words. A perfect cutaway and a look. Rick is in love with the music. Truthfully, many times we sat in tears and a bit breathless. The characters are lovable, but not in a cloying state. Complex, surprising and evolving characters both upstairs and downstairs. The show is a masterpiece.
Rick and I wanted to do something special and make a satisfying veggie soup with salty bacon and a Charlotte Aux Pommes. I also adorned myself with a silly headband I made. It felt a bit proper to put on a little something for our tiny viewing party. Pictures of my headband and Charlotte Aux Pommes recipe will be on the blog later this week.
Cabbage, Bean and Bacon Soup
- 4-6 strips of smokey bacon
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cups of chopped cabbage
- 2 large carrot, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
- 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
- 1 pound white beans (cannellini or great northern), soaked overnight and drained
- 1 cup of water
- 2 cups of stock
- 1 bay leaf
- S & P
In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving the fat and bacon separately. Heat olive oil in pot, begin cooking onions till translucent, and then other vegetable. Stir in garlic, herbs and bay leaf. Adding stock and water, beans. Cook till boiling then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover for nearly two hours. Garnish with bacon and thyme. Soup and Bacon can be refrigerated separately for up to three days.