Monday, July 25, 2011

Smoked Bacon and Mushroom Chowder – Fuel for Dancing at the Crossroads

Pin It Summer arrived on Saturday – for one performance only.  The clouds of the past few weeks gave way to blue sky. The temperature nudged 20°C . It was perfect timing.  

Smoked Bacon and Mushroom Chowder - a 'souper' food

Cabinteely village was closed to traffic and a dance floor was erected in the street. Several local restaurants had set up stalls, with paella and meatballs from Las Tapas, and a range of Thai food from Pattaya. The Horse and Hound pub was five deep at the bar – almost unheard of since the smoking ban. The scene was set for the revival of an old custom - dancing at the crossroads – a tradition prohibited by the party pooping Public Dance Halls Act of 1935.
Hey! This is my airspace!

This community occasion would have been miserable in the rain. As it was, the temperature dropped to a chilly 10°C as the evening wore on. Dancing would have kept me warm but I had worn ridiculous shoes (a recurring theme) and I had to rely on this chowder to heat me up when I got home.  

For 6 - 8 servings you will need...
750g mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
10g dried porcini (optional) processed to a fine powder in a food processor
500mls chicken/vegetable stock
25g butter
150g onion, finely chopped
125g smoked bacon lardons
500mls milk
50g butter
50g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leafed parsley
A little extra chopped parsley for sprinkling over the top


1                    Put the sliced mushrooms (and dried porcini if using) in a medium saucepan and add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
2                    Meanwhile, melt 25g of butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and the smoked bacon lardons. Cook gently until the onion is soft and translucent. Transfer to a bowl.
3                    To the same large saucepan, add the milk, the remaining 50g of butter and the flour and stir with a whisk over a medium heat until thickened into a creamy sauce and starting to bubble – about 5 minutes. Strain the stock from the mushrooms into the creamy sauce. Add about 1/3 of the sliced mushrooms, then finely chop the remaining mushrooms and add them too. Finally, add the bacon and onion, along with salt, pepper, thyme and chopped parsley. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4                    Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve with a generous sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley.
This is even better next day, when the flavours have had a chance to develop further.
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30 comments:

Kelly @ Eat Yourself Skinny said...

Wow looks like a great time!! Your mushroom chowder looks amazing as well! :)

Parsley Sage said...

Those girls got some height, nah? Whoa! I can't believe how cold is still is there..and as I sit here in soggy drawers as our heat index just hit 113 F at 835am, I can't help but be a little jealous.

Awesome chowder :)

Lilly said...

I had my first chowder in the states and it was delicious! Now my sister in law has to get it for me every time I’m there, no mater what season it is. So thank you for this chowder recipe, I can now make my own =)

Three-Cookies said...

It seems you got the limited edition of summer while the US has heat waves. Rather unfair and uneven heat distribution.

I have never made chowder and the recipe looks relatively straight forward, will give it a shot sometime

5 Star Foodie said...

Your chowder looks fantastic, excellent earthy and smoky flavors!

jill Colonna said...

Oh, Hester. You certainly timed it right with that warming chowder. It looks fabulous (love it, souper....)
and also that you're a souper trouper when it comes to walking in these shoes! Absolutely beautiful shots - love the dancing photo. Sounded a wonderful ambience, too.

Dee at Deelicious Sweets said...

What a great time! Those little dancers are just adorable! I am looking forward to fall just for this soup. I love all of the ingredients in it. I am definitely bookmarking this :)

Tiffany said...

Chowder looks awesome! And love the action shot of the dancers!!!

kankana said...

That soup looks so creamy and comforting and those girl .. OMG .. just awsm huh!

Anne@frommysweetheart said...

I love mushroom soup! So bacon and mushrooms in a chowder sound even better! Hester...the picture of YOU on the dance floor....did I miss it???? : )

Lizzy said...

Oh, what a great chowder. Now if I could just get hubby to eat mushrooms! Maybe I'll just make batch for me to eat for lunches :)

The Harried Cook said...

The picture of that little girl dancing is awesome.. Sounds like a fun time! :) Hester - this soup sounds perfectly divine! Mushrooms and bacon? Oh I can't wait till it's a little cooler here, and then I am so making this soup! Thanks for sharing :)

Ann said...

This looks amazing! Your pictures - are stellar!

Maureen said...

That photo of the dancer should win an award.

This soup though.. it screams to me in a language that my stomach understands. It looks delicious!

I don't think it's been as low as 10°C in Queensland all winter. :) And I complain about being cold all the time!

S.V. said...

Your chowder looks super tasty.

WiseMóna said...

What a shot Hester. So rich in colour and the expression on her face is gorgeous. The chowder looks lovely too, mmmmm bacon!

firefoodie said...

Lovely photos, and a hearty soup too. Going to a music festival this week so hopefully we'll be lucky with the sun too.

Carolyn said...

Sorry to hear you are having such a cold summer, but this soup looks fantastic. I've saved it and buzzed it. It will have to wait for a while, though, because we are in serious July heat in Boston!

Rosemary said...

Since we're still dancing with 80's and 90's and high humidity, it will be a little while before I try this, but it was a great to warm you up on your summer's day. I've been looking for the excellent excuse to use some treasured porcini in my cupboard -- I've now got it!

Curt said...

Sounds great. I love that smokey flavor.

Awesome pictures too!

Toyin O. said...

That is a great picture of the girl, the food sounds yummy, thanks for sharing.

Tina @flourtrader said...

This chowder looks really comforting, especially after a cold day outside. It is really hot here, but I have bookmarked this for wintertime. Simply delicious. The dancing at the crossroads looks like a lot of fun!

Simply Life said...

mmm...this soup looks perfect!

Corina said...

I'm sure this was very warming after all the dancing. Mushroom soup is one of my favourite soups.

mjskit said...

What a fun day! This looks like a wonderful mushroom soup, one of my favorites. I'm saving it for when we have a little cooler weather.

Mother Rimmy said...

What a terrific time and I'm so glad you had good weather for it! We are still waiting for summer to arrive in Seattle. Bacon and mushroom chowder - my husband would be in heaven! Have a good weekend!

Trix said...

Call me crazy but I envy your weather - would love to curl up with a hot bowl of chowder, if only it weren't 5 million degrees .... Your photos are stunning

The Daily Dish said...

Bacon, bacon, bacon -- this is the 2nd recipe I've seen with the wonder eat in just 5 minutes and I'm drooling a bit too much! The chowder looks amazing. And the dancers are adorable. PS: hope you've got some better shoes on now. ;)

April said...

Definitely saving this one once the weather cools off here in Texas!

kita said...

What an awesome pic of the girls dancing!

And this chowder sounds delicious!!!