Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Soup's On!

I love soup.  Seriously.  When given the choice between soup and saland, I will choose soup 99% of the time.  On a cold day, there's nothing quite like a hot bowl of soup to warm you from the inside out.  Autumn time brings colder weather to most of the country, but I recently relocated to Texas and let me to tell you, it does not get very cold here.  However, last Thursday we got all the way down into the upper 50s (it was in the 50s in Logan the first week of October before we moved!) and I was so happy to bust out one of my favorite soup recipes.  I originally found it on Tasty Kitchen and couldn't believe how quick, easy, and delicious it is!  In fact, it was so delicious that Mr. W and I ate it all before I could take a picture.  I hope you will still try it despite its lack of photographic deliciousness Michelle took one look at this recipe and knew that she had to make it for dinner last night and took a picture of it. Seriously soooo good. Mr. S said, "this recipe is a keeper!" Make it TONIGHT!-- you'll be glad you did!

Cheddar Potato Chowder

¼ cups butter
2 whole carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 whole onion, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoons dry mustard
½ teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk or cream
2 cups chicken stock
6 whole potatoes, chopped (I use russett, but the original recipe calls for red potatoes)
½ pounds bacon (leave this out if you want to go vegetarian!)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bunch chives, minced (optional)

In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion, and cook until vegetables are soft but not brown, approximately 10 minutes. Stir in flour and remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the salt. Cook for about 2 minutes until ingredients bind together. Gradually add milk, about a half cup at a time, and stir constantly. Once all of the milk has been incorporated, pour in the chicken stock and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. While the soup is simmering, cook the bacon in a separate pan.  Remove soup pot from heat and stir in cheddar cheese, handfuls at a time, until all two cups are added and the cheese is melted. Stir in bacon.  Sprinkle top with chives.

I adapted a few things myself. I had a variety of potatoes (red, russet & yellow) that I used.I used a whole clove of  minced garlic and added it in after the onion, carrots & celery cooked for a few minutes - the smell of real garlic is amazing. I didn't have time to work with bacon, but subbed cubed ham that I had on hand. After I let the soup boil I pulled out my handy emulsifier and blended it just a bit (still mostly chunky). If you are using milk instead of cream the blended potatoes help thicken the soup a bit. If you don't have an emulsifier just take a cup or two of the soup and run it through the blender and stir it back in.
Bon appetit!

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