This is not a pretty soup. Because no matter what I do to this soup, I would not call it beautiful. If only you could breath in the richness of the bacon cooking, the searing of the pork roast, caramelized onions, garlic, and tart roasted apples, then you might forgive me for the pictures. Unfortunately, the pictures do not do the recipe justice. But despite the pictures, I promise you, this pork and apple soup with bacon is amazing.
Inspiration for this recipe comes from the cafeteria at the hospital where I work, of all places. They actually do an amazing job with the cafeteria menu. Everything is cooked from scratch, but my usual lunch choice is the salad bar, I must admit. (Now I know what you’re thinking, typical dietitian eating her veggies…..yeah, I hear it every day).
But a few weeks ago I couldn’t resist the alluring aroma coming from one of the soup tureens. The delicious smell wafted down the hallway all the way into my office. So when I went to get lunch, I was actually surprised that the scent was coming from a soup. Subsequently, I followed my nose and got the soup instead of a salad. Best decision ever! And I knew I had to recreate the pork and apple soup with bacon at home.
Soup is the best this time of year. It’s been crazy cold here in Idaho with the temperatures staying below freezing and so much snow! When the weather is this cold, there’s nothing better than warming up with a big bowl of soup. Kris was traveling for work when I made this pork and apple soup with bacon, so needless to say I ate it for a week and didn’t get tired of it. This soup is very rich, which makes it very filling and satisfying. Now that Kris is back I’m going to have to make it again for him.
Now I didn’t get the recipe for the soup from the cafeteria at work. Instead, I decided to just recreate it on my own and am pretty happy with the outcome. So please don’t judge this soup by my pictures, make it for yourself and let me know what you think!
- 4 slices of thick-cut bacon chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples cored, peeled, and chopped
- 2 medium onions sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves mined
- 2-3 lb pork shoulder roast
- 64 oz chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- Salt to taste
Heat a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.
Place chopped bacon in Dutch oven and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
Add sliced onions and chopped apple to the pot with the bacon and sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Then add garlic.
Nestle roast in the pot with the bacon, onions, apples, and garlic. Brown roast evenly on all sides, turning every 2-3 minutes.
Once roast is browned, add 64 oz of chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits of bacon.
Next add seasonings, except salt.
Reduce heat to low-medium and cover. Let soup simmer for 30 minutes, until pork roast is cooked through.
When pork roast is cooked through (internal temp of at least 145 degrees if you're into that), remove the roast from the soup and shred or roughly chop the meat. Return the roast to the soup and stir to combine.
Finally, add salt and any additional seasonings as needed. Remove bay leaves prior to serving.