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Bacon, Potato & Cheddar Chowder

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New potatoes are in season – we’re pulling them from the dirt in our yard, and getting them in our CSA boxes. I can’t get enough of the thin-skinned little beauties. They’re delicious smashed, roasted, in salads – but also make a fantastic summery chowder with bacon and cheddar. Add corn, too, if you get your hands on some late August cobs – scrape the kernels off the cob and add them along with the potatoes.

This simple soup is perfect for rainy days – to switch it up, try adding curry powder or paste in place of the thyme, crumbled Italian sausage in place of the bacon, or a spoonful or two of tomato paste along with the stock for a tomato-esque kick.

Bacon, Potato & Cheddar Chowder

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
1 L (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
2-3 thin skinned potatoes, unpeeled and diced
1 cup half & half
1 cup grated old cheddar

In a largish pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Add the canola oil and the onions to the pot and cook for 5-6 minutes, until soft.

Sprinkle the flour and thyme over the onions and stir to coat, cooking for a minute. Add the stock and potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Add the half & half and cheddar and cook for a few more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Stir in the bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 4-6.

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