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BLT Soup

There's a transition between each season, but the most noticeable change might be the one between winter and spring.

In early March, the signs of this transformation begin to appear - the crocus, the robin, more daylight hours.

One thing this period makes Scott Hutcheson think about is the red tomato of summer.

BLT Soup

  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 2 28-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stocks of celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 quart of canned chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 8 thin slices of a baguette
  • Arugula

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and place a wire rack on the lined pan. Lay the slices of bacon on the rack and place in the oven to cook for 20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and the rack. Once cooled, crumble the bacon and set aside. While the bacon is cooking open the two cans of tomatoes and pour of the juice, reserving it for later. Using the same baking pan and parchment used for the bacon, pour off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon fat (you may not have more than a tablespoon). Dump the diced tomatoes onto the parchment-lined sheet and spread out into a single layer. Add salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Place back into the 375-degree oven to roast for 30 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, heat a Dutch oven to medium-high. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Add salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to turn golden. Add the chicken stock and reserved tomato juice and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Once the tomatoes are done add them to the pot along with the tablespoon of sugar and the basil. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth consistency. Switch the oven to broil and place the bread slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and broil until golden. When ready to serve ladle soup into bowls, top with one or two pieces of the toast, a few leaves of arugula, and crumbled bacon. Makes about six servings.

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