Bacon and Potato Soup

When a bowl of soup combines bacon, potatoes and cheese, it just has to be good.  If you add in a few veggies, you could even say it’s healthy, right?  Absolutely!  Serve this warm bowl of deliciousness with some crusty garlic bread and a green salad and you are good to go.

Ingredients

  •                    10-12 thick slices bacon
  •                     1 chopped yellow onion
  •                     1 cup chopped carrots
  •                     4 stalks celery, chopped
  •                     4 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
  •                     3 lbs cubed potatoes
  •                     1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •                     1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  •                     1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Cook bacon until crisp in dutch oven, remove and drain well on paper towels. Discard bacon grease except for about 2 tbls.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetables.  Add onion, carrot, and celery to pan as they are cut up. Saute until onion is soft but not brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Portion out a few ladels of soup and process in a blender until smooth.  Add back into pot.

 Stir in cheese, heating just until melted–do not boil. Chop bacon and add to soup. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding salt, if desired. Serve at once.

Super easy and delicious.  Kids usually love this too!  Enjoy.

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Roast Chicken

It feels like I’m constantly taking boneless, skinless chicken breasts out of the freezer for dinner.  Yes, they’re versatile, healthy, easy to fix, blah, blah, blah, but I get bored cooking with the same part of the chicken all the time!  I was at New Seasons, my very favorite local grocery store the other day and decided to pick up a free-range roaster.  They were about half the price as the boneless skinless breasts and I knew this would make for a super-easy-to-prepare dinner.  If you’re having company, this is also just fancy enough to impress your guests!


Start with about a 5 pound roaster.  Wash it, dry it and remove the packaged goodies from the cavity.  Salt and pepper the inside of the cavity, then fill it with a couple of pieces of quartered lemon, a head of fresh garlic which has been cut in half crosswise and some fresh herbs.  I used rosemary but thyme also works nicely.

Tie up the legs with kitchen string then brush the outside of the chicken with melted butter and give it a good sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper.  I decided to get fancy and use black truffle salt this time.  I had it sitting around, so why not?

Put your bird on the rack of a roasting pan then pop it in a 425 degree oven for an hour and a half and viola!  Ain’t she purdy?  Let her rest for 10 or 15 minutes and enjoy.  Oh, and by the way, your kitchen smells soooo good while this bird is roasting in your oven.

Ingredients

1 5lb roasting chicken

Kosher salt (or other fancy salt)

Freshly ground black pepper

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1 bunch fresh thyme

1 lemon, quartered

1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

2-3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the fresh herbs, 2 quarters of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.