It’s hard to get my husband interested in dinners labeled “soup” or “salad” but whenever there’s bacon involved….his taste-buds perk up. And what makes this recipe extra special is that you use a bit of the bacon grease to create the roux. Mmm. Delish. But don’t worry, there’s only a bit of bacon grease. We’re not clogging arteries here. In fact, that’s the only fat used; no heavy cream or whole milk. And if you’re vegetarian, there’s a meat-free alternative!
This soup is hearty, warm and inviting. And though I teased you with bacon….the real secret ingredient is thyme. It adds a lovely aroma. So gather your supplies and let’s make soup for dinner.
POTATO BROCCOLI SOUP
Serves 4 adults
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 each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
3-4 medium-sized red potatoes (diced into small cubes)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels (sweet white corn is best)
1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli cuts (you may substitute fresh zucchini cute into small cubes)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup low-fat or skim milk
salt and ground pepper, to taste
Cut 6 strips of bacon* into 1 inch pieces. Use whatever brand and type you like best. I prefer maple.
*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. This is my favorite little tool. 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*. I prefer using (1) reduced-sodium can and (1) regular can. This creates a nice salt balance in the soup.
* If you are vegetarian, substitute Vegetable 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 1 cup of milk,
1/2 tsp of thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. 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.
Of course soup is even better with a slice of warm bread….Braided Bread being our favorite.