19 February 2019

Vegetable and Macaroni Soup with Crispy Bacon Bits

My toddler Samantha is such a joy to feed! She now eats table food and almost everything that I serve to her big sister, Sophia so that means kitchen time is back to easy for me. I no longer make separate food for the tiny one. No more boiling and mashing and storing. My baby foodie now eats freshly-cooked food. Thank God for daughters who love eating as much as I love cooking! It's not always a walk in the park, though. There are days when one of them, or sometimes both, feel like being judgy as if I'd feed them something gross. Well, I've made myself a general rule when it comes to my relationship with food and motherhood—while I enjoy seeing my kids finish their plant-based meals, I still acknowledge the fact that they are humans who deserve to enjoy 'delish dishes'. 


What I mean by delish dishes are food our generation has always loved when we were kids (uhm till now actually). Like spaghetti, burger, fried chicken, pizza, and what-have-yous. Back then, it's every child's dream to eat those on a regular basis. Jollibee was like the god of happiness in the 90s! But not me. As a kid, I was happier to have nilagang baka, pancit and chicken macaroni soup. In fact, I knew my mama, who's a widow, has extra money when she makes us creamy and hearty macaroni soup. She paired it with fried fish or breaded pork chops. It was one of the best memories of my childhood... watching my mother cook for us. Her version of macaroni soup has julienned carrots, shredded cabbage, chicken pieces and sliced hotdogs. I loved my mama's soup but now that I'm a grown-up and have learned the risks of eating hotdogs regularly, I have almost taken that out of our grocery list. Also, pink soups mean there's food color. But guys, this recipe still has processed meat. Why? Duh, bacon!

Here are a few important reminders before you get busy in the kitchen:

  • I cooked the elbow macaroni first just like what we do with most pasta dishes. I learned that it won't absorb the rest of the broth when done that way unlike when you put uncooked pasta with the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Frying the bacon gives the soup more character. And biting on those crispy edges with the warm and creamy soup is just a divine feeling.
  • Use warm water so it won't stop from cooking. It saves time as well.
  • Do not ever cover the pot once you add the veggies. Sure, covering it cooks the veggies faster but it makes them look paler and unappealing. You don't need to really tenderize the veggies so you actually don't need to cover it.

Are we good?


Ingredients:

- 200g elbow macaroni, cooked
- 250ml all purpose cream
- 1 chicken broth cube
- 1 284g can mushrooms
- carrots, diced 
- broccoli, small florets
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- celery stalks and leaves, chopped
- small cabbage, shredded
- 200g bacon, chopped and fried
- 2 to 3 cups of warm water (plus remaining water from the pasta)


Procedure:

1. Cook elbow macaroni per package instructions. While doing so, let the bacon render its own oil until edges are crispy. Just the edges. Please do not overfry it. Set aside.

2. In the same pot where you fried the bacon, sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Quickly add the carrots and celery stalks. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth cubes. If you're already using chicken stock, skip that step. Stir fry and smell how fragrant celery is!

3. Add mushroom, broccoli, bell pepper and cabbage in this order. Stir fry in between adding the veggies.

4. Add the cooked pasta and its pasta water plus 2 to 3 cups of warm water. Amount of water depends on how you and your family liked sipping soups. You may season it with fish sauce if you find it a bit bland. Simmer for a minute or two.

5. Lower the fire then pour all-purpose cream. Stir gently to prevent the cream from curdling. Cook a few minutes more but continue stirring.

6. Top it with crispy bacon bits and serve warm. Enjoy! 

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1 comment:

  1. ❤️❤️❤️ I really love sopas!!! Will definitely try this. Thanks ms. D 😘

    ReplyDelete