March 2, 2014 – Ahhhh, what can be better than a warming bowl of potato-bacon soup on a rainy Sunday evening? I can’t think of much! Sundays always seem like the perfect day for easy, lazy, comfort food. Particularly in the winter. I was browsing a magazine on the way back from Nanaimo late last week on the ferry, and came across a recipe for soup that sounded worth trying out: Loaded Bacon-Potato Soup With Cheddar and Chives.

Checked the kitchen pantry and had everything but bacon, so stopped by our local butcher for a few nice looking slices, a quick stop across the street at the bakers for a small loaf of sourdough, and home to snuggle down with a cup of tea while we pondered the renovations that are being planned.

The soup was good, but not the best I’ve ever had, so like any recipe, I used it as a starting point.

Potatoes like corn, and I only had three russet potatoes and a sweet potato, not four russet potatoes. I had extra old white cheddar, not orange, and when it was done, it just needed something extra, so a bit of ancho chilli powder gave it a bit more oomph.

Loaded Bacon-Potato Soup With Cheddar and Chives.

Ingredients:

4 slices bacon, chopped (about 4 ounces)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 pounds total) **(I only had three so added a yam/sweet potato to make up the starch slack)
(I also added about a cup of corn kernels)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups whole milk
kosher salt and black pepper (I also added some ancho chilli powder to taste)
4 ounces Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

Cook the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot; reserve the pot.

Add the onion and garlic to the reserved pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the potatoes, (corn if using), broth, milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, (chilli pepper if adding) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very soft (almost falling apart) and the soup is slightly thickened, 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve warm topped with the cheddar, chives, and reserved bacon.

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I very much enjoy soup season. Unfortunately the cheese, the onions, and the bacon all sank into the depths of the soup before I got the camera turned on it….

But in digging around the kitchen, I realized we had broccoli about to go off, so that was cut up and tossed with salt, pepper, and olive oil, spread on parchment paper on a cookie tray, and roasted in the oven at 425F for about 20 minutes leaves the broccoli tender and the tips of the florets cripsy. A sauce of olive oil and butter, with a hefty squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of white wine vinegar, and a tablespoon of capers was drizzled over that, and then some finely grated parmesan cheese and slivered almonds were tossed over that. Yum!

What's for dinner?

I haven’t done a lot of cooking for a long time, I think I’m getting my kitchen mojo back 😉