I first published this soup almost 5 years ago and it is still a big favorite for us when the temperatures plummet. Today is certainly one of those days.
It is now one of my husband’s specialties. It met his criteria for cooking a good soup: “Not too difficult, doesn’t take too long and tastes good. Oh..and I want bacon in it.” It’s now a easy meal for him. It also meets my criteria; uncured bacon, so no nitrites, and half and half instead of cream to cut back on the fat. It is still on the rich side so we don’t eat more than once a month.
4 oz uncured bacon, chopped (1/3 of a 12oz package)
2 Tbs each good olive oil and butter
2 large yellow onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp thyme (rub in your hands as you add it to break it up into finer pieces)
4-6 cups of chicken stock (2-3 cans)
4 cups of diced potatoes or use frozen hash browns-diced kind
1 lb bag of frozen corn (buy a good brand for this)
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
In a large stockpot:
Over medium-high heat cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and put on paper towels to drain excess fat. Set aside. Depending on how much fat you have left in the pan, add some or all of the olive oil and butter to saute your onions. Reduce heat to medium to medium-low and cook the onions slowly until golden and sweet.
While the onions are cooking, place the flour an a small bowl. Add salt, fresh ground pepper, and thyme and mix. Add them to the cooked onions and stir for about 3 minutes. Add your stock slowly and then the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes. Now add the corn and let soup return to temp, about 5 minutes. Grate your cheddar while you wait. Add cheddar, half and half and bacon pieces. Cook 5 more minutes until cheese is melted. Adjust seasonings and serve.
I feel warmer already! We like ours with a dash of hot sauce. Enjoy!