Potato Broccoli Soup with Bacon

“I live on good soup, not on fine words.” -Moliere

I told y’all that I was obsessed with soup, and I wasn’t joking. When I saw this recipe over at Made (the same source that brought us braided bread), I knew I had to try it. The photos alone had me salivating (go check ’em out, because they are ten times better than mine. No joke.)
Opportunity came when I had to fix something for a soup-and-sandwich church lunch. Usually I opt for a tried-and-true recipe when other people (besides just my family) are involved, but I couldn’t resist. This soup just looked too darned yummy. And, unsurprisingly, it proved to be just that.

Potato Broccoli Soup with Bacon

6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup flour (if soup is too runny when you’re done, add more flour to a small amount of water and then add to the soup)
2 cans 14 oz. cans chicken broth
3-4 medium-sized Red potatoes (diced into small cubes)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups frozen Broccoli cuts (you may substitute fresh zucchini cute into small cubes)
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste

Serves 4

Cut 6 strips of bacon into 1 inch pieces. (If you’re vegetarian, omit the bacon and use Butter in place of grease.) Place the pieces in a dutch oven or large pot and cook until the bacon is crispy. While the bacon cooks, wash each potato and dice into small cubes (leave the peels on). When the bacon is crispy (don’t let it burn), remove the pieces with a slotted spoon or strainer. Place the bacon on paper towel-covered plate to cool.

To make a roux for the soup (a flour/fat base that provides thickness to your soup), you will use 2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease. This doesn’t need to be exact so if it looks like there’s 2 Tbls in the pot, great. If there’s too much, dump all the grease out of the pot into a glass bowl and spoon 2 Tbls back into the pot.
(If you’re vegetarian, use 2 Tbls of butter instead of bacon grease.) Add 1/3 cup of flour and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute till the grease is soaked up and forms a ball…or roux.

Next, add 2 cans (or one large 32 oz box) of Chicken Broth. Pour the broth into the sizzling pan and watch it deglaze the remaining bacon bits on the pan. As the soup cooks, the rue will blend in and should not leave any lumps. Add the potatoes. Bring everything to a boil and cook till the potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes). Stir fairly often, as the potatoes have a tendency to stick on the bottom.

When the potatoes are cooked, add the broccoli and corn (zucchini can be substituted for broccoli. I’ve done both and they’re both delicious.) Add the milk, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring back to a boil–stirring periodically–and cook for a few minutes. Allow the soup to sit for a five minutes before serving, then dish it up and sprinkle bacon bits on top.

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