Bacon and Egg Soup, Asian Style; Vegan and Vegetarian options

When the weather starts to cool it becomes soup season in my world, and I just love soup so much! My husband on the other hand hates soup with a fiery passion, but that is where compromise comes in, and I just make a very hearty soups, almost stew like. This soup, on the other hand, is on the lighter side, but he loved the flavor!

I normally use recipes as a guide, and then put my creative spin on them. I was enticed by this recipe’s name, bacon and egg soup, because I have never heard of such a thing. When I was reading over the recipe it seemed a little boring, with only salt, pepper, and parsley as their flavor content. I thought to myself, “How can I make this more interesting?” , and then it hit me, an Asian flavor profile! I thought, egg drop soup is Asian, and bacon just adds a little more flavor and brings in the salt, so I will just continue the theme a little further. To this recipe I added: basil, cilantro, coriander, cardamom, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and it was a success!

If you are feeding a very hungry man I would suggest you add a side dish to this recipe, like roasted brussel sprouts, a carrot side dish of some sort, or even an Asian salad to make it a complete meal. In the directions I have in bold some options if you are vegan or vegetarian. I hope you all enjoy this recipe and I welcome any feedback!

Ingredients: 

1 package of bacon (whatever width you like)

(Sesame seed oil if you are vegan or vegetarian)

Parisian bread, baguette, or some bread that has a crunchy outside and soft inside

4 cloves of garlic smashed

4 cups broth of any kind (chicken, beef, or vegetable [I used beef broth])

2.5 cups water

small portion of parmesan rind, plus 1 cup shredded

2 Tablespoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried cilantro

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom and coriander

1/4 teaspoon group ginger and red pepper flakes

4-6 eggs or tofu as a vegan option

Directions: (serves 4)

  1. Heat broiler (on high or low whatever you are comfortable cooking at), and cook bacon on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. When you are done with the first batch pour that grease into a pot with the smashed garlic on medium low heat. Use the grease from the second batch to flavor the bread in step two. (For vegetarian or vegan option skip the bacon and use 2 tbsp. of any oil, but I suggest sesame seed oil for this dish, to flavor your bread and to add in your pot with the garlic)
  2. While the bacon is cooking start slicing your bread into 1/2 inch cubes until you have about 4-5 cups of bread cubes. Remember to keep an eye on your bacon, broilers cook food fast. When you are done cooking the bacon, remove to a plate with paper towels and add the bread cubes to the pan with the bacon grease and season with about 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. (For vegetarian or vegan options use whatever oil you prefer. I like olive oil, but if we are sticking with Asian flavors a sesame seed oil would be great with this dish. Then season with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt as well as pepper). Switch the oven to bake at 375 degrees and bake for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. During this time make sure you are checking the garlic, and making sure it is not burning, it turns very bitter and will be no good. Add the broth and water to the pot, along with the parmesan rind (if not vegan) and all the seasonings. Bring to a boil then lower the temperature to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Take the bread cubes out when they are done and set aside. Meanwhile take the parmesan rind out and lower the heat to low, or 1, next is when we are going to poach some eggs! I start by stirring the pot so the water is going pretty fast in one direction, then I crack an egg into a small bowl and slip the egg into the pot of spinning broth and let it cook for about 2 minutes (I poached two eggs at a time). When the 2 minutes are up, take a slotted spoon and retrieve the poached eggs and set them in your soup bowl. One or two eggs per bowl, poach as many eggs as you want! Finish off the broth by adding the cup of shredded parmesan (if not vegan).
  5. Now it is time to assemble the soup. Taste your broth and add more salt if you need to, I was happy with my salt content so I did not add extra salt. If you did not use the bacon I would suggest you add 2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce for your salt content, add only one teaspoon at a time and taste so you don’t over salt the dish. Spoon the broth into the bowl, add a few handfuls of the baked bread crumbs, a handful of bacon (if using), and there you have it, bacon and egg soup, Asian style. (Before eating I would let the soup sit a while so the bread has time to soak up most of the broth).

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For Vegans: 

Obviously you guys do not eat eggs or bacon, but you can easily add an equivalent substitute like tofu and boil it in the broth for the last 5 minutes in step 3. Also, you guys are welcome to add a salty vegan cheese instead of parmesan if you so desire.

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