Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cheese Soup with Red Pepper and Bacon

Jeez, sometimes I don't realize how long it can take for me to try out a recipe...I printed off this recipe back when this blog published it and I just noticed that was back in 2009.  Yikes.

The prompt for finally trying out this recipe is that there was a freeze here recently, our first one.  And David ran out to our bell pepper plant to rescue all the peppers on the vine pre-freeze.  So, I was in need of utilizing these babies before they wrinkled up into nasty rot-ness.

So, I hunted through my recipe books in search of something scrumptious that called for red bell  I changed this recipe up a bit, but not much.

Cheese Soup with Red Pepper and Bacon
adapted from How Sweet It Is

1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped (or 3 small home-grown red peppers)
3 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup grated yellow sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated colby cheese

Cook the bacon in a medium sauce pan until crisp.  Remove from pan, place on paper-towel-lined cutting board.  When drained, chop finely.

Retain the bacon grease in the pan, if there's a whole lot then you can remove some.  You only want a teaspoon or two's worth, which is what about three bacon strips will give you.  Throw in the chopped onion and saute until translucent.  Be sure to scrape up all those crusty bits on the bottom of the pan leftover from the bacon...mmmm...that's the flavor right there.

Add flour and butter, whisking constantly to create a roux.

Reduce to medium heat, and add heavy cream and chicken stock. Add cheeses in increments, stirring constantly so cheese does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  [I would recommend using a roux or flat whisk (like this) or a gravy or sauce whisk like I'm using in the picture below.]

Reduce to low-medium heat, and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until thick. Stir occasionally.

You can add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. I found that the bacon grease adds plenty of flavor, making the need for such seasonings obsolete.  If soup is not as thick as you would like, add flour by the tablespoon, stirring until it thickens.

Add the chopped red pepper and bacon to soup, stirring to mix.  You may save some extra of each for garnish, if that floats your boat.

Let simmer for 5 more minutes.

Serve in soups bowls. And prepare to swoon.

I l-o-v-e-d this soup.  It was rich and creamy and perfect for a cold winter night when you just want to curl up on the couch in your sweats n' fuzzy socks and watch some chick flick like Bridget Jones, Princess Bride or 16 Candles.

Needless to say, this was not a manly man soup.  It has girly written all over it simply because the meat to cheese/veggie ratio isn't nearly high enough.  I'll definitely be making this for myself again in the near future...but as a meal for both David and I?  Not so much.



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