Mar 23, 2010

Bacon Potato Lentil Corn Chowder

I came up with this recipe one night when I had a few slices of bacon, half a red bell pepper, some carrots and potatoes that were going bad. So, I dove in and figured "why not? What do I have to loose?". I have made this twice now and it is a definite keeper. The kids and the husband loved this soup or chowder, whichever you wish to call it. It is basically a cross between bacon potato soup and corn chowder with lentils as an added protein bonus. If your kids do not like beans, they will not even notice the lentils. I used to be a bean hater myself, but I find myself loving them more and more. Lentils, if not overcooked, are a good starter bean for you non bean eaters. :)


4 -5  Slices of Bacon
1 Onion, diced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Carrots, halved and sliced
5 Medium Potatoes, unpeeled and cubed
4 Cups Chicken Stock*
1 tsp salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 - 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 Cup Lentils, rinsed
3 Cups Milk
8 - 10 oz Frozen Corn 

In a large soup pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Remove all but 2 Tablespoons of bacon grease. Add in onions; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and sweat for 10 minutes on medium to medium high heat.  Add in red bell pepper and cook 5 minutes more; add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in broth, potatoes, carrots, lentils, thyme, bay leaf,  pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a low simmer and allow to cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk and frozen corn during the last 5 minutes. Serve with bacon and a little fresh Parmesan cheese grated on top. Delish!

To Make Ahead
Soup can be made ahead. Just cook for 20 minutes; allow to cool and store. When you reheat it should be just right. :) I have not tried to freeze this yet. 

Tips
*Chicken Stock - Boil chicken bones or pieces, scraps from onions, carrots, celery in a large stock pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Store vegetable scraps (tops of celery, dark onion layers, ends of carrots) in a plastic storage bag in the freezer, so when you are ready to make stock all you have to do is dump the bag into the pot with the chicken. You will get really great, rich stock from using the outside of the onions.


This recipe is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday @ Blessed With Grace

4 comments :

  1. that looks so good! gonna have to make this one!

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  2. I think the dishes we make when we're trying to clean out the fridge are the best ones! This looks great!

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  3. This looks good! I also love the look of your blog...very cute!!!

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  4. This sounds really tasty and relatively simple. Thanks for the idea!

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