Thinking Soup Outside the Bowl

This is a guest post from personal chef and culinary instructor Kathryn Furman.


Every year Mr.F. and I throw a cocktail party for Festivus, and every year I serve 10 to 12 fairly labour intensive appetizers. I fall into the trap of too much time in the kitchen and not enough time with my guests. To correct this problem, I planned only a few appetizers and a full buffet style meal. I just needed to come up with a few apps. served in a really creative way.
We had attended a wedding back around Thanksgiving and one of the courses was a Pumpkin and Squash soup served in oversized shot glasses. I loved the presentation! Simple and different.
I found a recipe in Food Network Magazine by Ted Allen that was for White Bean soup with Bacon and he actually served it in shot glasses so I knew it would work.
White Bean Soup Shooters with Bacon
2 strips bacon diced and divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots chopped
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans – drained and rinsed
6 fresh sage leaves
4 cloves garlic chopped
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
ground black pepper
Brie or goat cheese
Fry 1/2 of the bacon in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat until halfway done (3 min.) Add olive oil, butter and shallots, saute until soft (6 min.) add the beans, sage, garlic and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 min more.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor in batches. Puree until smooth. WARNING : Hot items tend to explode when whipped so do this in SMALL batches or give yourself an extra 45 min. and let it cool before blending.
Return the soup to the sauce pan and stir in the cream, cayenne and salt to taste. If you let the soup cool, bring it back up to a simmer, reduce heat and stir in the cream, cayenne and salt. Cook off the remaining diced bacon to be used as a garnish
I used a turkey baster to get the soup into the shot glasses, the ladle I had was too big and messy. Garnish with the cheese, pepper and bacon and serve!
Now the recipe I used as a guide, garnished the soup with 3/4 inch croutons smeared with goat cheese. Since goat cheese is not my favorite, I opted to use and herbed Brie and rather than use a crouton, which seemed a bit bulky for a shot glass, I used diced bacon.
The results were wonderful. My guests were wowed by the presentation, the brie in the hot soup gave it an additional creaminess and of course you can’t go wrong with more bacon.
This recipe can easily be adjusted for Vegetarians. Just replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock and you can use a small amount of a product called “liquid smoke” in place of the bacon.
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