Sunday, January 27, 2013

Potato Bacon Chowder

Chowder is relatively easy - take your favorite veggies, cook them til they are soft, add some milk, blend it all up and you have a chowder. Toss some saltine crackers on top or some seafood in the mix? You'll look like a pro.

The difference between cream of whatever vegetable soup and chowder is a little vague, and wikipedia was of no help. So, you can call this soup what you like - but Potato Bacon Chowder sounds yummy, and this was yummy. Enough said.

Potato Bacon Chowder 

4 cups potatoes, diced (peels left on) cooked or uncooked*
1 c chopped onion
2 Tbs butter (use oil to make vegan)
2 c Chicken Stock or milk (use veggie stock to make vegan)
(3-4 cups water if potatoes are uncooked)
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled like bacon bits (omit to make vegan)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute. If the potatoes are uncooked, add and stir for 1 minute. Add 3 cups water (possibly more) until potatoes are covered. Let simmer for 15 minutes, check periodically to make sure potatoes are still covered by water.

Add 2 cups Chicken stock or milk (milk will make for a creamier soup, and arguably make this more of a chowder). Using an immersion blender, blend your soup until it is creamy. Add the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately with warm bread.

Couple Notes:
* I used leftover potatoes (and incidentally a few carrots and bits of garlic) from the Roast Chicken with Root Veggies. I also had some leftover mashed potatoes from a bagel recipe (which I'll post soon) and some leftover baked potato and sweet potato from a meal a couple weeks ago that my kids just wouldn't eat. I had just tossed the leftovers into a ziploc bag and into the freezer. You'll find if you save bits of leftovers like these, you'll quickly come up with enough for a whole meal - no reason to throw away a whole meal just because it presents itself in pieces.

*  If you are making this vegan, add some salt and potentially some more veggies - carrots, garlic, sweet potato to give the soup some more flavor. The longer you saute them, the more flavor you'll have. Potatoes and veggie stock won't create the same result on their own. If you like veggie bacon, add that, too.

* If the soup is too thick, add some more liquid - milk, water, or chicken stock. If it's too thin, add some more raw veggies and let them cook. Blend again. I just don't recommend blending bacon - bacon is meant to be eaten in recognizable form.


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