Look, it’s unconventional.
I’ll cut straight to the chase. I made a soup last night that involved bacon, curry powder, and a good dose of dry sherry. The fact that I had very little going for me in the fridge is not a factor. This was a pre-meditated, weird and unusual soup. I thought about it long and hard. And I made it anyway.
And it’s brilliant.
I am exaggerating about my level of insanity here. But. BUT. Have you ever come across a recipe that involves curry and bacon. Have you?
Actually, wait a sec. I’m going to look it up:
Nope, nothing. Even this excellent book would never pair the words “bacon” and “curry.”
But I did.
Okay, enough drama. I made a soup, and it should have been weird, but it was very good. That’s it.
Also, it’s not that weird.
What follows is an approximation of what I made. Forgive the vague instructions. This is based on a memory of something that I didn’t think would work—so I kept no notes.
Squash, bacon and curry soup
In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat a small splash of oil (grapeseed will do). Add two rashers of double-smoked bacon (sliced). Fry for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the bacon starts to colour.
Then add one diced carrot and one sliced leek. Sautee for a few minutes more.
Now add about two teaspoons of good quality curry powder, two cloves of garlic (finely chopped), and one small chili pepper (finely chopped). Turn the heat right up, and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
Now add a good, decent splash of dry sherry, stirring. It will evaporate quickly.
Time to add one butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed. And a 14 oz can of whole tomatoes, along with its juices. And a litre of vegetable broth.
Add a good pinch of fleur de sel. Bring to a boil, then a simmer.
Simmer for a good half hour, until all the vegetables are very tender. Puree with a hand blender until very smooth. Add a can of coconut milk. Stir, and serve in bowls with a large handful of chopped fresh cilantro.