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Or, more accurately, savoury bacon maple granola. Think clumps of crisp oats (with added toasted sunflower seeds for added crunch) flavoured with sweet maple syrup, salty, unami soy sauce and savoury, chewy pieces of crispy bacon. The croutons start off crunchy as you tuck into your bowl, and gradually absorb the soup, leaving a delicious, salty, rich porridge in the bottom of the bowl to spoon up. I’ve taken a cue from my friend Izy’s brilliant new book The Savvy Cookto make the granola in a frying pan rather than in the oven; not only is it super simple, but it is the best way to make sure you don’t burn the bacon!
I’ve teamed up with Irish soup brand Cully & Sully for this post. I know that my philosophy used to be 100% homemade, and 99% of the time it still is, but sometimes I’ve just run out of homemade meals in the freezer or I need something last minute that is delicious, nourishing, and fits in with my ‘I know what all the ingredients are on the back of the pack’ rule when it comes to buying the odd item pre-made. Call it finally becoming a grown up and realising I don’t have to do everything all of the time, if you will. I’m rather partial to their pea and mint soup (you can find it in Tesco, and you can stash it in the freezer – useful as it usually has a pretty short shelf life on account of it not being stuffed with additives), just like I now have a bag of Itsu frozen dumplings in my freezer and I’m branching out into different flavours of pesto to go over my pasta.
I’ve made you enough granola here for a tub, which will do about 6-8 bowls of soup. Not only is it easier to make in a big batch, but it lasts well in a airtight container for about a week, so if you’ve picked up a couple of different new flavours to try for autumn/ made up a big batch of something you’ll want a big stash! Alternatively, you can also use the granola on autumnal salads in place of croutons.
A fun, delicious maple granola savoury soup topper to jazz up your soups and stews!
4 Rashers Streaky Bacon
8 tbsp Rolled Oats
Large Handful Pumpkin Seeds
2 tbsp Light Oil
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Soy Sauce
Place the bacon in a large, non-stick frying pan and set it over a medium heat. Cook it on one side until it is crispy and starting to brown, then turn it over. You’re after crispy, American-style bacon rashers that stand to attention and don’t flop over when you lift them out of the pan to drain on a piece of kitchen paper.
Wipe the bacon fat out of the pan and return it to the heat. Toast the oats and the pumpkin seeds in the dry pan until the oats have started to go a little golden and the seeds have started to pop.
Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small pieces. Stir in the bacon, followed by the oil, syrup and soy sauce. Stir until everything is well coated and the mixture in the pan has become fragrant.
Turn off the heat, and spread the mixture in a layer across the pan.
Leave this to cook completely before breaking up into large chunks to sprinkle straight over soup, or to store in an airtight jar or container.
Your bacon fat should be clean and clear in the pan as what you’ve just done is rendering. You can pour this into a jar and save it in the fridge; mushrooms are delicious, albeit unhealthy cooked in the fat, and if you own a copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook there is an excellent recipe in there for bacon biscuits where you use the fat in place of some of the butter in the pastry.
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