That meal between breakfast and lunch...

One of the best brunches I've ever had the pleasure of making:

I made bacon and egg soup (via here) which tasted like an omelette in a bowl and some french toast and maple syrup muffins (via Sprinkle Bakes) on the side. There was sort of a theme going on: traditional breakfast foods served in untraditional ways.

The recipes were very easy and most every ingredient was something you'd have on hand- maybe except for the buttermilk and fresh parmesan. The soup ended up tasting amazing but it was very heavy so I didn't even need muffins to go along with it. It was nice to add some sweetness though. Also, the recipe doesn't make much broth, so you may want to add another cup of broth and one of water to get a little more soup. Mine barely served 4 people. All in all, I would recommend these recipes to anyone who, like me, is a lover of breakfast foods. Enjoy!

Bacon* and Egg Soup:

1/2 pound slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (I made bacon like normal in the oven and just crumpled it up as I needed) 4 slices rustic Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used some Italian bread fresh out of the bread machine) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 2 cloves garlic, smashed 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese, plus 1 small piece rind 4 tablespoons torn fresh parsley (Dried also works) 4 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Cook the bacon in a medium pot over medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon, then discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings from the pot. While the bacon cooks, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic to the bacon drippings and cook until slightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth, 1 1/2 cups water, the parmesan rind and 2 tablespoons parsley; season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
  3. Adjust the heat so the broth is barely boiling. One at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl and gently slip into the broth. Poach until just set, about 2 minutes. Transfer the eggs with a slotted spoon to individual soup bowls. Stir 1 cup parmesan and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley into the broth and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the broth into the bowls and top with the croutons, bacon and the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.

Serves 4.

* This soup can very easily be made vegetarian if you use veggie broth and replace the bacon with spinach. I think some mushrooms and bell peppers would be fantastic too. Too many variations to count!

French Toast Muffins:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. powdered cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
Maple syrup
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with papers, set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt in a large bowl and set aside.  In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and melted butter.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture.  Stir until just incorporated.  Do not over-mix or batter will deflate!
  4. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, (check at 10 minutes). Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Poke holes in the muffin tops and gently spoon over one or two tablespoons of maple syrup onto each cake.  Dust with confectioners' sugar.