At last week's Mile High Chef Competition between Argyll Gastropub cooker Sergio Romero and Jing exec chef Jay Spickelmier (who emerged victorious), the hit dish of the night was Spickelmier's Tuscan lamb and white bean soup, the recipe of which he was happy to share with us. It's the perfect soup for fall.
Tuscan-style lamb and white bean soup
1 pound lamb top round sirloin 3 strips bacon 1 shallot, peeled and diced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1/4 cup diced fennel 1 can navy white beans, drained 2 cans low sodium chicken stock Salt and pepper Brown sugar
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Fage greek yogurt (you could also use Brown Cow) Sun-dried tomatoes Fried mint leaves Splash of white truffle oil
Lightly season the lamb with salt and pepper. Saute shallot, garlic and fennel in saucepan over medium heat until they're soft. In a separate saucepan, add the bacon and let it render. Remove bacon and dice. Brown the ground lamb meat in the bacon fat and add the sauteed vegetables and diced bacon. Add chicken stick and white beans. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and brown sugar.
To finish the soup, add one small dollop of yogurt to the middle of the bowl, sprinkle a few sun-dried tomatoes on top, add the fried mint leaf and then a few scant drops of truffle oil. Serves four.