Broccoli Soup with Ba-coco-n Bits

by - July 21, 2014

  Yes, you read that title right. No, it was not a typo. Meet ba-coco-n. Or, if you prefer, coconut bacon. But I will stick to ba-coco-n because: how fun is it to say it five times real quick?
  Again, a disclaimer: I know calling something vegan by it's non-vegan name can get on some people's nerves. Hence the ba-coco-n. Because that isn't 'bacon', it is something else entirely!

    I have only ever had bacon when I was about 12, maybe a total of seven times, excluding times it was probably snuck into a quiche or a soup. And for all seven, the bacon was burnt to a crisp. So maybe I am not the best judge of what tastes like bacon or not, nor do I want to be. I was just aiming for something smoky and crispy to adorn my soup with (we will get on to the soup in a bit). And broccoli has a flavour soulmate in bacon according to The Flavour Thesaurus.
  So I decided to be a wizard at improvising and make my own bacon. Sorry -- ba-coco-n.

   The ba-coco-n is peasy. Only you may have to keep a close eye on it towards the last few minutes of baking. And, you have to stir it every now and then. AND by the time it is ready to garnish your fab green soup, about 99% of it will have already been eaten.
  Because you were 'testing' how done it was.

It took all the willpower in this world to save enough for this photo

  And now on to the soup. I love steamed broccoli. Ok, well YES, I love almost every other veg out there. But broccoli has a special place in my heart. 
  But there was one thing I hated and that was boiled brocc. Boiling a vegetable in water causes all it's goodness and nutrients to leech out of it, if you overdo it. And even if you don't, you do lose a substantial amount. But I also hated boiled brocc because it was always soft and mushy and it broke into a bazillion pieces when you tried to spear it with a fork.

  Since this soup actually USES the water you boil the brocc in, you take all that vitamins that have leaked out and WHAM it right back into the dish in a high-speed blender. And, since it is well... a soup, the whole crumbly vegetable thing is sorted as well.

  So, me and boiled brocc are on OK terms, for this dish that is.

  The soup is minimal, adaptable. And the ba-coco-n as well. Although I strongly suggest you make a batch of ba-coco-n to store. Because this baby in BLT sarnies (B for Ba-coco-n duh), on peanut butter and banana waffles (Elvis missed out on this version), eaten out of the jar on a spoon, or with your hands. It'll do the trick.
  Also, not to mention I have a ton of other ideas for ba-coco-n which are definitely getting a post in the immediate future.

  Ok, I feel I have bored you enough. Geez you guys, ba-coco-n always makes you impatient, doesn't it?
 *winky face

Broccoli Soup with Ba-coco-n Bits
Serves 2 as a starter

1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
2 tsp tamari (or coconut aminos: double whammy)
1 1/2 tsp hickory liquid smoke
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

3 garlic cloves

1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets and stem cut into cubes
1/2 a fresh zucchini, sliced 
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Pepper, to taste
1 tsp onion powder
Pinch of truffle salt, optional but YUM
Himalayan salt, to taste

Mix the first 5 ingredients together well and spread evenly onto a silpat or baking-paper lined baking tray. Place into an oven at 150 degrees C for 15 minutes, removing it every 5 minutes to stir it about. Make sure the coconu does not overlap as much as possible and make sure that bits on the outside are flipped to the middle so each piece browns equally. You will have to watch it closely during the last five minutes. Leave to cool.

At the same time you are making your ba-coco-n, place a tray with the three garlic cloves in the same oven for 15 minutes.

Also bring a pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt, the broccoli florets and stem pieces. Lower heat and simmer until broccoli is very tender, about 8 minutes. drain immediately (keep the water for the next step!) and place the broccoli bits into a bowl of cold water, this is to keep them green.

Add the cooked broccoli, sliced zucchini, olive oil, onion powder, peeled roasted garlic cloves and blend on high. Add a ladel-ful of brocc boiling water at a time until you get the consistency you desire. I like my soups thicker so I added about two and a half ladel-fuls. I used a vitamix on the soup setting so I did not have to reheat my soup, but if it you do not use one and it loses heat too quickly, you may have to. Season to taste with the salt(s) and pepper.

Pour into two bowls, garnish with ba-coco-n. You can store remaining (hah!) cooled ba-coco-n in an airtight jar. Drizzle with EVOO, roasted pepitas, whatever else takes your fancy. But for me, ba-coco-n was all it needed. 

P.S serving size of ba-coco-n in the picture of the soup bowls is not accurate given we were adding more with each spoonful. You need a lil' crunch every two slurps amirite?

You May Also Like