Hello, hasn’t the winter been weird in a wonderful way? Here in Minnesota we have been loving the 50 and 60 degree weather. But winter is determined to make a comeback. So while we savor every last bit of beautiful weather, I want to be prepared to keep warm and cozy. Soup is always wonderful for warming people up on chilly days. I flipped through my recipe box and found a chowder recipe. With a little adapting, I made a delicious bacon and potato chowder.
With delicious bacon, fresh veggies, and potatoes. this thick, hearty chowder is perfect for frosty evenings. Cooking it all in one pot blends all the wonderful flavors and keeps cleaning down to a minimum. Incidentally it’s also gluten free because it uses the potatoes to thicken the soup instead of flour. Which is an awesome bonus for keeping your family warm and well fed.
For this one pot wonder you will need:
- 1 lb. of bacon
- 8 medium sized potatoes
- ½ of an onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce (most are gluten free but check to make sure if you have a sensitivity)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of pepper
- 2 cups of water
- 1 pint of half and half
You can add more carrots or celery in your soup if you like, but I prefer my soup more creamy than chunky. Another thing you can add is a couple drops of tabasco sauce if you like it spicey. I’m a true Minnesooootan and we can’t handle hot and spicey stuff. So tabasco is not even present in my house. 😀
Moving on to the chowder, first we need to get all the vegetables ready to cook.
Take half an onion, peel, and finely mince it. We are going for all the flavor and none of the crunch.
Next slice off the top of the red bell pepper with the core and all those little seeds. Cut off the extra white membrane too. Slice the bell pepper into quarters and then into strips. Finishing it off by chopping it into bits.
Cut off the top and bottom of a stalk of celery. Slice it into quarters as well and finely chop. That will get all the flavor and cook faster as well.
Peel and chop off the top of your carrot. Cut in half lengthwise and finely chop that as well.
Take off a clove of garlic and cut out the bottom and the little tip at the top. That should make it easier to peel. After peeling, smash the garlic and finely mince it.
You will need to wash and peel all the potatoes. Next cut them into about ½ inch cubes. I cut my potatoes in half lengthwise and in half again lengthwise. Then chopped them into ½ inch pieces, approximately.
Now for the bacon. You need to cut the bacon into about 1 inch long pieces. I find that a good pair of kitchen scissors works great for this.
Now you are really ready to start cooking!
Start by sauteing the bacon in a nice heavy pot. Also you might want to separate the pieces of bacon. Otherwise the pieces will stick together and not cook properly. Once the bacon is cooked to delicious crispiness, add in your chopped onion, red bell pepper, celery, carrot, and garlic. Stir and let everything saute for a couple of minutes.
Next it’s time to add the water to actually make it a soup.
Also add in your salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and potatoes. Stir everything together and cover with a close fitting lid. Let it cook on medium/high to high heat for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remember to stir occasionally to make sure all the potatoes get cooked through. Once the potatoes are nice and soft, turn down the heat. Start to mash the potatoes a bit while you stir the soup and add in the half and half. Let the chowder cook a bit more until it’s piping hot but do not boil it.
Ladle the chowder into bowls and enjoy a hearty dinner with your family!
So yummy and cozy! Perfect for the impending snow storm. I always like crackers with my soup, but this chowder really doesn’t need them. It’s lovely and thick as it is. Those crackers are not gluten free but I’ve free many varieties at my local grocery store that are so gluten free people can enjoy crackers with their soup too. 🙂
There is still a bit of winter to go. So I recommend curling up at home with a cup of coffee and watch the snow fall.
Available at Heartland America right now is the MateoJo Espresso Maker. Make espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos right at home. So you can skip the coffee house prices. It’s easy to use and make nine 2 ounce espresso shots at a time. Check it out today because supplies are limited.
Whether you are enjoy some hearty chowder or a delightful cup of coffee, enjoy the warmth and comfort of your home. If you do have to venture out, stay safe. Until next week remember you are always welcome at Home with Heartland.