It has been so cold up here lately. I will be honest with ya’ll. I’d be happy living in a small, south Mississippi town for the rest of my life. You know, the kind where you have to drive to get what you need from somewhere but have plenty of room and land around you to grow both your family and some of your food. Where a snowstorm would be talked about for years because it is so rare. There are times, in the business of life I imagine I’m on farmland down south. But all too quickly, one of my boys opens the door and the cold air blows in, snapping me back into reality. We have only gotten a little unexpected snow and my boys were so excited about it. That very day it snowed and I snapped this picture, I made this soup for what felt like the 50th time.
This is one of our absolute favorite meals. My friend hannah shared the recipe with everyone on her blog years ago and it still makes our biweekly menu in the winter. Try to follow the recipe exactly, these are all real, clean food ingredients so you can enjoy guilt free. Try and use organic ingredients when you can.
Do yourself a favor and do all of your peeling and chopping before you get started. I’ve tried to do this as I go before and ended up burning my onions, woops
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices nitrate free bacon (like applegate farms), diced
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
salt and black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour (or arrow root if gluten free)
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups peeled, finely diced russet potatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (sometimes I up this to a whole teaspoon)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Pinch of cayenne pepper and reserved bacon for serving
Melt butter over medium high heat in a big red pot or other heavy bottomed soup pot. Add the bacon and cook till crisp. Scoop out the bacon and drain on paper towels. Save for later–don’t nibble too much. Pour off all but 4 teaspoons of fat from the pot. Toss in the onions and peppers, seasoning them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook till soft and then throw in the garlic, cooking it all for 1 minute more. Sprinkle on the flour and mix into the veggies until you have a paste, you shouldn’t be able to see any flour at the end of this. Pour in the stock and potatoes. Cover the pot and bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or till the potatoes are tender. Be sure to stir a few times so your potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of your pot.
Add the shredded carrots and corn. Cover and simmer everything 5 to 6 minutes longer to blend the flavors. Stir in the half-and-half. Season with the thyme, parsley, some more salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cayenne and reserved bacon. Serve with crusty bread or grilled cheese sandwiches and enjoy!
*I usually take about 2-3 cups of the finished soup out and use an immersion blender to cream the remaining soup. I add the original soup back in and stir before serving. We like a mixed texture best, try what works for your family