Monday, September 12, 2011

Loaded Potato Chowder

>The amount of ingredients may seem a little ovewhelming to some of you, but if you wash and prep all the veggies beforehand, it makes life a little easier. It is well worth the time. This makes a hearty Gut-Warming meal or side dish for those cold, end-of-winter evenings.

10 oz. bacon, raw, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced small
1 cup celery diced small
1 cup carrot, peeled, diced small
1/2 T. thyme
1 T. rosemary
6 cups. potato, washed and cut into 1 inch chunks ( I used reds, Yukon Golds, and all purpose Maine,  only peeled the Maine ones. You can use one kind if you wish
6 cups chicken stock or broth
3 cups heavy cream
Cornstarch slurry (equal parts water and cornstarch) as needed
2 cups white cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish, optional
Salt to taste
Old Bay Seasoning, optional, to taste
Prepare all vegetables as instructed and put aside.
Heat large stock pot and add the bacon. Sauté until half cooked, add the garlic, carrots, celery and onions and sauté until tender then add thyme and bay leaves. Add the potatoes and sauté for approximately 3 minutes. Drain excess bacon fat if desired.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, cook until potatoes are fork tender. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil, adjust seasoning with the salt, pepper, and Old Bay as needed. Puree half of this mixture using a hand held stick blender or hand mixer; result should produce a very smooth soup with some chunks of potato. Tighten as needed with the slurry mixture and add the white cheddar cheese. Season as needed with the salt, pepper, horseradish and Old Bay. Garnish with bacon, cheese, and green onions.
*REDS tip ~ Instead of the cornstarch slurry, powdered potato can be used as a thickener, just add a little at a time while soup is still hot.

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