Winter Vegetable Soup with spinach pesto and crisp gubeen bacon
Tom Cleary has being supplying me with seasonal vegetables for the past sixteen years. He is a chef’s dream, coming in the back door of the kitchen with his hand grown produce is a pleasure to see and when the seasons change so does his fantastic vegetables.
Serves 8 people
• 200g of smoked Gubeen bacon cut into lardons
• 2 tblsp of olive oil
• 50g of good Irish butter
• 225g of finely diced onion
• 275g of finely diced carrot
• 225g of finely diced potato
• 200g finely diced celery
• 200g finely diced leek
• 200g finely diced turnip
• Salt and pepper
• 1.8 litre of chicken stock
For the spinach pesto you will need:
• 50g of cooked and drained spinach
• 15g of pine nuts
• 1 crushed clove of garlic
• 150ml of olive oil
• Pinch of salt and white pepper
First fry off the gubeen bacon in a dry frying pan until it is nice and crisp, set aside.
In a large pot sweat off the onions in the butter and olive oil, add in the potato, carrot, celery, turnip and cook out for five minutes over a low heat. Now add in the chicken stock and the leeks, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
This soup is more of a broth so there is no need to liquidize it. Tom’s veg are full of flavour so let them speak for themselves.
To make the pesto, put the spinach in a bowl with the pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and blend together finely using a hand blender.
Pour the soup out into hot bowls, sprinkle the bacon on top and a dollop of pesto and there you have it, Tom’s soup full of goodness…..