by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Friday, February 17, 2012
Bean, Bacon, and Parsley Soup - 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #35 Delia Smith
Born in 1941, she left school at the age of 16 and became a hair dresser...then a shop assistant...and shortly after worked in a travel agency. But having been complimented on her cooking by a boyfriend, she decided that cookery was the path she should take. She started work at a tiny restaurant called The Singing Chef (in Paddington) when she was 21 as a "washer-upper" (dishwasher?). She then became a waitress and eventually was allowed in the kitchen. She began reading English cookery books in the Reading Room of the British Museum and trying out recipes on the family she lived with. In 1969, she became the cookery writer for the Daily Mirror's new magazine where she met her husband Michael Wynn-Jones (he was the deputy editor of this mag). Throughout her lifetime, she wrote many other columns and cookbooks, plus she hosted cooking shows and demonstrations. I thought it pretty cool to mention that in 2009 she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Not that I have the slightest clue what that is...but it sounds impressive.
Delia online, where she can interact with fans, post recipes and tips, and share a schedule of any upcoming events she may have. Check out this interview from BBC for more insight into Delia.
I've been in the mood for lima beans lately...so when I came across a recipe in one of Smith's books that combined them with bacon and onion (sigh...heaven-scent. Yes, scent.)...I didn't turn another page. I knew what I was making. This soup has a surprising amount of flavor and is creamy, delicious, and chunky all at the same time.
- 1 cup dried lima beans, soaked overnight (or quick-soaked) and drained
- 2 ounces bacon, chopped
- olive oil, as needed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, finely copped
- 6 scallions, sliced
- 2 small celery ribs, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- ~2/3 cup milk
- kosher or sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.