Let it snow, let it snow…

December 26, 2009

This is what I think of as comfort food; the type of thing you’d fix on a cold, snowy day in December and serve with fresh baguette and bowls of lettuce dressed simply with oil and lemon. It’s rich, hearty, and warming. Just don’t fix it while you’re on a diet and then come to me saying it threw you violently off the wagon.

Cream of Potato and Vegetable Soup
Serves 8 *very* generously

3/4 pound bacon, diced
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 medium onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
3/4 pound baby carrots, sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/2 pound broccoli, cut
2 pounds potatoes, cut in 1/2″ pieces
1/3 cup flour
2 cans vegetable broth, or 30 ounces homemade stock
1 pint half & half
1 cup cream
salt to taste
pepper to taste
good cheddar, for garnish

Cook bacon in a large soup pot until crisp. Remove bacon, saving bacon fat. Add 2 tablespoons butter to two tablespoons bacon fat and add onion, celery, carrot, and bell pepper, cooking until the carrots just start to tenderize. Add broccoli and potatoes and cook until potatoes start to tenderize. Add the rest of the butter and 1/2 the flour, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil, cooking until the vegetables are tender. Add enough half & half to the rest of the flour to make a paste and stir it into the soup with the half & half and the cream. Simmer until thickened. Serve with cheese and bacon bits sprinkled over top.