January 5, 2011
A BLT has to be one of the all-time favorite sandwiches, next to PB&J. Is it because it is a sandwich titled by initials? I doubt that - it has to be the bacon!! Everyone knows that everthing is better with a little bacon thrown in! This soup started out as a recipe for tomato soup that I think I found either on a V-8 bottle or Knorr Vegetable Soup box... maybe... But I have been making it so long from memory, and adjusting it to the family's tastes that it is not the original, so I claim it as my own. With the additions that I have made, you will see that it is simply a BLT in soup form. The lettuce has been replaced with chopped spinach (use fresh if you want) because cooking lettuce in a soup is just gross in my book, and the mayo has become some heavy cream. Grill up the cheese and enjoy it this winter! Variations follow.
1/2 lb. bacon, diced
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c. V-8 juice
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3-4 c. chicken or vegetable broth (depending on how thin you want the soup)
1 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 - 1 c. heavy cream
salt/pepper, to taste
seasoned croutons (optional)
parmesan cheese (optional)
In large stockpot, saute bacon until crispy and remove from pot, leaving the drippings behind (about 2 T). In the remaining bacon drippings, saute the onion until translucent and then toss in the garlic for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, juice, broth and spinach, simmering until everything is hot. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Just before serving stir in the cream and the reserved bacon. Do not allow to boil after adding the cream. Top with croutons and parmesan, if desired.
Tomato Soup: leave out the bacon and spinach. Adding the cream will make it creamy tomato soup.
Vegetable-Beef (or Turkey) Soup: Brown a pound of ground beef (or turkey) in place of the bacon. Saute 2 diced carrots and 2 stalk celery with the onion. Add a bag of frozen mixed vegetables (or can of Veg-all) or any frozen/canned vegetables that you like with the spinach and simmer until heated through. Add in the browned beef and leave out the cream.
ps. I sent the BLT soup recipe to Rachael Ray a couple of years ago and she ignored it :( Her loss - although it better not show up on one of her shows or in one of her books as HERS!! :)