Sometimes, a recipe is so tasty that you don’t get a decent picture of it before it’s gone. This is one of those recipes. There aren’t any leftovers, either, so I have to make it again to make it look more appetizing (and I will, and eventually I’ll also drag my Very Photogenic black& white dishes out of storage and they’ll do all the work for me).
Cheesy Potato Soup with Broccoli, Mushrooms & Bacon
4 or 5 strips bacon
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 of a medium/large onion (depending on how much onion you like, diced
1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
about 8 small to medium red potatoes, diced
1 small head broccoli, chopped into smallish bits
8 oz. mushrooms (regular white button is fine), sliced
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt & pepper, to taste
dash or two cayenne pepper
In a frying pan, cook the bacon until crispy, flipping as needed. When done, remove the bacon from the pan and pat dry between 2 paper towels. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cook until soft, then add the garlic. Cook for no longer than a minute more, then add the chicken broth, potatoes, broccoli and mushrooms. Turn the heat up to high, bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until you can easily poke a fork in the potatoes. Remove from heat briefly and use a large spoon or potato masher to mash up most of the potatoes (mash AWAY from you unless you want broth in your eye…or, you know, just use an immersion blender if you’ve got one). Stir in the cheese, milk and seasonings. Bring to a low boil and cook, stirring often, until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. If it’s not thickening, you might have to add a pinch or two of flour; just make sure to mix it well. Just before serving, crumble up the bacon and mix it into the soup.
I made this adapted from a recipe I’d found a while ago. I had the exact amount of chicken broth it calls for leftover from the marsala. I added, subtracted and tweaked and it turned out great – I even cooked the bacon enough this time (not really knowing my way around meat still, I always undercook bacon, but this time I just cooked the HELL out of it and it was allegedly perfect)! If you REALLY love bacon, you could probably use the bacon grease…maybe even instead of the butter?