I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. We ate a lot, did a little shopping and just relaxed with family. All in all it was a great long weekend. As I'm typing this I am surrounded by all of our Christmas decorations that are patiently waiting to be put in their spot. I love to change it up a little year after year with my Christmas decorating.
I am loving the little snap of cooler weather because that means it is soup time in my family. I usually make a big pot early in the week and that is what we eat for lunch during the week. Since my family has gotten bigger appetites as the little girls are growing up, it doesn't last as long as it used to. I guess that just means I'll get to try out more soup recipes!
On this blog I've talked a lot in my recipes about a Dutch Oven. It never occurred to me that some of you might not know what one is. I had someone tell me that they couldn't make some of my recipes because they didn't have the special oven that my recipes use. I couldn't figure out what they were talking about and then it dawned on me. A Dutch Oven is the pot that is pictured below. It is the one pot in my kitchen I cannot live without. Mine was a gift from my hubby, one of the best he has ever given me I might add! The one I use is quite pricey and is made by Le Creuset, but as many times as I've used it, makes it worth it. I also have a smaller one and a larger oval one that I equally love. It is enameled cast iron and is quite heavy. It is perfect for soups and stews, and dishes that need a long braise in the oven, such as a pot roast or beef burgundy. There are some companies that make a less pricey pot such as Lodge, that are also great. (By the way, I have received no compensation from Le Creuset or Lodge, and these opinions are 100% mine.)White Cheddar & Bacon Potato Soup
6-7 thick cut slices bacon (about 1/2 pound), sliced crosswise into 1/2" pieces
1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 clove garlic, minced (1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 cup flour
6 cups chicken stock
6-7 medium baked potatoes (3 pounds), peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
1 pound Sharp White Cheddar Cheese (Cabot or Tillamook recommended)
1 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste (I don't usually add extra salt because the broth makes it salty enough and I use about 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.)
chopped green onions or chives
In a large soup pot over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease.
Add the butter to the pot and melt.
Add the onion, carrot and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the veggies are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking to combine.
Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cook partially covered with the lid, for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Add the shredded cheese 1 handful at a time, stirring gently after each addition until melted. Slowly add the heavy cream and continue stirring until combined.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped bacon, green onions or chives, and sour cream.
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