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Archive for the ‘bacon’ Category

Minestrone Soup

Weekend lunches are always a bit hit and miss.  As the children grow they have different activities.  A formal lunchtime is no longer an option, so I try to create lunches which can be eaten as they and their extra friends pass through the house.

Soups are warming, welcoming and they can be as hearty and cleverly filled with vegetables without the children realising.   Minestrone is a particular favourite.  It takes a little more preparation but is definitely worth the extra effort.  The earlier you prepare it in the day the better the flavours blend and the richer the soup tastes.

onions finely chopped 
bacon small lardons
leeks finely chopped 
carrots finely chopped
other vegetables you wish to use up – chop finely
splash of sherry
tinned tomatoes 
chicken stock
spaghetti  chopped into tiny pieces
grated parmesan or cheddar to garnish

Heat the oil and add the onions and begin to soften

Add the bacon lardons and let them start to cook.

Add the other vegetables depending on how long they need cooking carrots should be early on with green beans if you are using followed by softer vegetables like leeks.

Keep stirring occasionally to stop it sticking.

Add a splash of Sherry or sometimes I use Masala if I have no Sherry.  Stir well.

Stir in the tinned tomatoes and then add the chicken stock. bring to the boil.  Allow it to boil well for a few minutes.

Keeping it boiling add the broken up pasta, allowing it to continue cooking for long enough to cook the pasta “al dente”.  Add extra water if required.

Keep cooking this for as long as required on a low heat, remembering to stir occaisionally.

When the time comes serve with the grated cheese and with warm crusty bread of your choice. warming, popular and great to stretch for unexpected guests.

Enjoy and let me have your soup recipes to try out.


take a look at my complex and busy life in my other blog Tiggy Hayes

Bacon and Leek Bake

This is a very simple bake that we had as a main course but would work equally well as a side dish if you lessened the bacon,  I would probably use small lardons.   Very popular and deliciously rich.

Olive oil
Bacon cut into bite size pieces
Onion – chopped
Leeks – sliced
Garlic – chopped very finely
Cream – single is fine for this

Heat some of the olive oil and fry the bacon till it is well cooked

Remove from the pan into a roasting dish.  Add the onion to the now empty pan with the remainder of the olive oil.

As the onion softens add in the leeks on a low heat, continue to stir them and break up any bits still in rounds.

Sprinkle the garlic over this as you stir

Meanwhile cut the potatoes into chunky slices and add them tIo a pot of already boiling water.  You want them just softening so keep an eye on them, they can become mash very quickly.

When the leeks are cooked add them to the bacon and then drain the potatoes before adding them.  Cover the mixture with cream and stir well.

Pop in a hot oven for half an hour and serve piping hot with warm crunchy bread and a crisp salad or vegetables of your choice.

There is a slimmers version to this; Cook in the oven with chicken or vegetable stock instead of the cream, then just before serving add some fromage frais and stir well to give it that rich creaminess without the calories.

Other additions could be cheese grated over the top for added flavour although these flavours do blend very well together and don’t necessarily need the extra.  

Enjoy and let me know what other combinations you can come up with.


Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Tiggy Hayes

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