Thanks to Andrew Back Bacon, I now know that April is BLT-Sandwich Month. Who knew?

I’ve already made a fantastic BLT sandwich for you guys, but I needed to do something different. Yes, I could have done a variation on the sandwich. Yes, I could have maybe changed the bread or some of the toppings. But I wanted to something completely different.

What if the sandwich wasn’t a sandwich at all?

What if the sandwich was something that went along with a sandwich?

What if the sandwich was a soup?

In this way, if you were at a restaurant with a soup and sandwich special, you could order the BLT with the BLT. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?

Did the boldness create any hype? Did it not make you want to know how to make a BLT Soup!!

Ingredients

3 lbs Roma Tomatoes

12 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

1 head Garlic

2 Shallots

1 Carrot

4 sprigs Fresh Tarragon

5 sprigs Fresh Thyme

1 small handful Flat-Leaf Parsley

2 cups Chicken Broth

¼ cup Heavy Cream

½ cup Crème fraiche

2 Jalapenos

Romaine Lettuce Hearts

Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F

2. Take your tomatoes (should be about 12 of them) and cut them into quarters and arrange them on a baking sheet that’s been lined with foil. Drizzle all of the tomatoes with a good amount of olive oil, then season them with salt and pepper.

3. Cut the very top off your head of garlic to expose some of the inside. Put your garlic in the middle of a 12”x12” square of foil and, again drizzle with olive oil. Bring up the sides of the foil to make a pouch.

4. Whack your tomatoes and garlic into the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll know it’s done when the tomatoes are dark and your whole house smells like heaven.

5. Cut up your twelve strips of bacon into nice big pieces and fry them until they are crispy in the bottom of a large soup pot or dutch oven. Remove them from the pot when they are done, but leave all the remaining fat in the pot.

6. Slice up your shallots and dice your carrots. Fry these along with your tarragon, parsley and thyme in the bacon fat until the carrots have gone soft. Just throw the whole sprigs into the pot, don’t worry about just getting the leaves. We are going to blend everything in a minute so it doesn’t matter. This should take roughly 3-5 minutes, depending on how big you cut your carrots.

Note: You don’t have to use tarragon, parsley and thyme! You could use oregano, basil, rosemary, chervil, sage…. Experiment! Be creative. The wonderful thing about tomatoes is that they accompany so many different herbs extremely well.


7. Squeeze out about half of your roasted garlic in with the carrots, shallots and herbs and fry that all together for about 30 seconds, then dump in all of your tomatoes and about a cup of chicken broth. Stir everything up and mash up the tomatoes with your wooden spoon. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes.

8. Using a blender, puree the soup mixture. Just like when we made our Mole Poblano, let the mixture cool before you go crazy with the blender. It will make a mess! Take your time and be patient.

9. Before you return your blended soup back to the pot, pass it through a mesh strainer to remove any of the pulp. We want the final texture to be very smooth. Continue to let the soup slowly simmer.

10. Add in your cream, and adjust the thickness of the soup with the remainder of the chicken broth to your liking. If you like it a little thinner than I do, go ahead and use more chicken broth! Nobody’s gonna stop you.

11. I found a great little suggestion to freshen up the final product and give it a little kick- adding a garlicky, jalapeno crème fraiche swirl. To make this, all you have to do is blend a couple jalapenos with about ½ cup of crème fraiche and the rest of your roasted galrlic. Add this only as you’re serving!

Serving and plating:

I know what you’re thinking, what about the lettuce?! Well, I wanted to keep the crunch factor with the lettuce to add a contrasting texture, so cooking it wouldn’t do. What I decided to do is use the lettuce as a quasi-spoon. So what you’re gonna do is serve your roasted tomato soup with your jalapeno crème fraiche swirl, then add your bacon croutons (that we’ve saved from the beginning) and a few leaves of lettuce.

So fancy, a prince would feel uncomfortable!