21 February 2014

The Best Potato Chowder

There's something about soup, isn't there? I think it's soul food. It can erase whatever's happened that day into a creamy, bacon-y, cheesy hug for my soul. Soul food, yes. And whether it's a freezing winter day or a chilly spring evening, this soup is perfect. It's not a super fast, but it is fairly easy and the time it takes is well spent. 'Cause this stuff is grood. Good. And great. Great and good.

This is definitely not the healthiest soup, but sometimes you just need a good dairy-heavy, bacon-filled soup, amiright? Feel free to substitute your own for the cream soups, but don't substitute cream of chicken. It will totally mess with the flavor if you add anything chicken. You could probably make a vegetable broth based cream of __ substitute for the cream of potato and/or celery. Just make sure you make it the concentrated consistency, not watered down. But if you haven't figured out a cream of __ substitute, bring on the good stuff! 

I'm not sure where the recipe originally came from; it was in mom's recipe book. So if you know where it came from, please let me know so I can give proper credit! Enjoy!

The Best Potato Chowder
6 strips bacon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 quart half-and-half
4 medium brown potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
2 cans cream of potato or cream of celery soup
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I use Johnny's)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup green beans (fresh, frozen, or can)
1 14oz can cream-style corn
Cheddar Cheese for sprinkling

Cook bacon in large stockpot, transferring to paper towel and leaving about 2 Tablespoons drippings in the pan. Sauté celery and onion until tender and the onions are clear. Sprinkle with flour and stir until blended. Gradually add half-and-half. Stir in the potatoes, soup, parsley, worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots (and fresh or frozen green beans), cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in corn (and canned green beans), stir until heated through.
Serve with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon on top.

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