Potato Soup

I adore a good, creamy soup on a cold day. One of my favorites has always been potato soup. I find it comforting for some reason. I guess you could say that if I were to list my favorite ‘comfort foods’, potato soup would be in the top 5.

I like to top my potato soup with grated cheddar and bacon. Knowing that I’d need a roux to thicken the soup, I chose to cook the bacon in the same dutch oven that I intended to make my soup in (then I had the bacon fat to make my roux and all the yummy bits that were left in the pan to help season my soup). I used thick sliced bacon, cut into smaller pieces (I think this is easier than frying it whole and then crumbling it, if you know you want it crumbled. And, the bacon gets crisper).

You can use any potatoes, of course, but I like russet potatoes the best. I use 6-8 potatoes, chopped to similar sized cubes.

Once my bacon was done, I removed it from the dutch oven and set it aside. The bacon I used left about 4 tbsp of oil. To that I added the same amount of flour to create my roux. I did a light roux, so I only cooked it for a few minutes.

After the roux was done, I added in the chicken stock. This was the time that I was able to deglaze the dutch oven. I stirred the mixture through and let the roux combine with the chicken stock, prior to adding in the milk. And, finally the potatoes. Once it was all warmed through, I added in the salt, pepper and butter. I turned down the heat (because my dutch oven holds heat so well, I can’t have it up too high or it will boil over), covered the dutch oven and cooked the soup for about 30 minutes – stirring occasionally.

To help make the soup ‘souper’ (see what I did there?) creamy, I used my immersion blender to blend some of the potatoes. I do like some chunky potatoes in my soup, so I only blended some.

I served the soup topped with cheddar cheese and the bacon I cooked earlier.

Potato Soup

6-8 russet potatoes
6 slices of thick cut bacon, cut into small pieces
3-4 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
2 1/2 tbsp butter
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Grated sharp cheddar cheese

  • Cook bacon, until crisp (reserve bacon grease)
  • Remove bacon, set aside
  • Chop potatoes into smallish cubes
  • Depending on how much bacon grease is left (should be around 3 tbsp or 4 tbsp), add same amount of flour and create a roux
  • Once your roux is done, add in chicken stock and stir though to incorporate
  • Add milk and potatoes
  • Add in salt and pepper
  • Cook until potatoes are soft
  • For a creamier soup, use an immersion blender to blend some of the potatoes
  • Serve with cheese and bacon

Corn Chowder

I think that I’ve made it very clear that I love a soup, stew or chowder (well, I’ve never said, on the blog, I love a chowder – but, suffice it to say, I do – now you know!). When I decided to make corn chowder, I got to wondering what makes a chowder a chowder – why isn’t it a stew, for example. In my research, I found that a chowder uses a roux to thicken – perfect, I was planning on using a roux for this dish! I was making a chowder! Go me!

For my corn chowder, I used chicken stock and some bacon – but, you could easily make this a vegetarian dish by foregoing the bacon and using vegetable stock.

Since I wasn’t planning this to be a vegetarian dish I knew I was going to put bacon in it. So, I started by frying a few slices of bacon.

I prepped the potatoes, onion and carrots.

Then I made my roux. For the roux, I used 2 tbsp butt we er (and the bacon grease that was left over) and 3-4 tbsp flour. For a roux, it should be equal parts fat and flour, I just guesstimated on the amount of bacon fat that was left in the dutch oven. I then added in a bit of the chicken stock, brought up to a boil and whisked well, picking up any stuck on bacon pieces from the bottom of the pan.

I added in the remaining chicken broth and 3 cups of skim milk. I added in the vegetables and dry seasonings and brought the broth up to a boil.

I added in the heavy cream last and then stirred everything through. I added in 1/2 of the bacon, crumbled, to the dutch oven.

I reduced the heat, added in a bay leaf, covered and cooked the chowder for about 45 minutes.

Serve topped with crisp bacon.

Corn Chowder

1 large bag frozen corn (32 oz)
4 carrots, chopped
4 russet potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups milk (I used 3 cups skim and 1 cup heavy cream)
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp Umami seasoning
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

2 tbsp butter
3-4 tbsp flour

  • Prep vegetables
  • Fry bacon and remove from dutch oven
  • Make roux, using remaining bacon fat, butter and flour
  • Once roux is done, add in chicken broth and then milk
  • Add in vegetables and seasonings, bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes
  • Serve with crisp bacon, if desired (I also added a few pieces of cooked, chopped bacon in prior to simmering)

** If you want to make this vegetarian, use vegetable stock and don’t add bacon