Broccoli, Bacon and Cheddar Chowder
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 min. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Pour off all but 2 tbsp. of the fat. Add the butter and onion and cook for 6 min. or until softened. Add the flour and cook, stirring for another 2 min. or until foamy.
Whisk in the salt, cayenne pepper, milk and stock and cook the mixture until it becomes smooth and creamy, about 3 min. Add the potatoes and cook for 10-15 min., or until the potatoes are tended. In a bowl, toss the Cheddar with the flour to coat.
Stir in the cheese, a handful at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Add the hot pepper sauce if using. Add the thawed broccoli and stir to heat. Do not boil. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Ladle the soup into heated bowls and garnish with the reserved bacon.
Recipe excerpted from “300 Sensational Soups” by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds. ©Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.