Who wouldn’t appreciate a bowl of hearty, comforting soup in the middle of another lockdown? As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage around the world, and we are more or less forced to stay at home, the warmth and energy in any form is indispensable.
Instead of consuming the bleak news, let’s get creative in the kitchen and produce something that will please all the family. Or a bunch of friends you are still allowed to meet.
The idea for bacon breadballs in this recipe came from Prvá kuchárska kniha v slovenskej reči (The First Cookbook in the Slovak Language) published in 1870. I added to them broccoli and carrots to give the soup a healthier kick and more colours, which I think make our food visually more appealing.
Broccoli Soup with Bacon Breadballs
- 1 medium size broccoli (about 500 g)
- 2 medium size carrots (250 g)
- 100 g smoked bacon, diced
- 3 eggs
- 2 breadrolls (120 g)
- milk or stock for soaking (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons pork lard or oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
- water as needed (about 3 litres)
- Dice the breadrolls and place them in a large bowl. Break the broccoli into florets and rinse them under running water. Peel the carrots and dice the bacon.
- Put the bacon in a frying pan and place over a low heat. Fry slowly until the bacon pieces are golden and crisp. Transfer to the breadrolls and stir in together with the dripping. Spoon in the milk or the stock and add the eggs. Season with a pinch of salt and a little black pepper. Mix well, cover with a dishcloth and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice or dice the carrots. Put the lard or the oil in a large cooking pot and place over a medium heat. Throw in the carrots and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until they are crisp. Set aside.
- Take the breadroll mixture out of the fridge. Dust a wooden board and your hands with flour. Take a spoonful of the breadroll mixture in between your fingers and shape it into a small ball. Place on the dusted board and repeat until you have used all the mixture, dusting your hands generously whenever they start sticking. Cover with the dishcloth and either return to the fridge or put in a cold place.
- Pour the water on the cooled fried carrots, place over a medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Season with salt and black pepper. Let cook for 15 minutes, then add the broccoli florets and cook for another 5 – 7 minutes.
- Carefully bring the board with the bacon breadballs to the cooker and drop them one by one into the simmering soup. Check for the seasoning and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from the heat, divide into bowls and serve immediately.The soup is certainly meant to feed a crowd, but it also keeps well in the fridge if you reheat it and use it up within a week.