Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So that was a bummer...

Yesterday, I mean. To make up for it, I'll share my favorite comfort food recipe!

The recent and extended cold streak we had here in Raleigh was a perfect excuse to make a batch of Potato Soup. More accurately, this is the (in?)famous "Gutter Runner's Potato Soup" of fame. You can google it, if you like. I modify the recipe, although only slightly, because the original calls for celery and I prefer to use chopped greens instead. I am a good Southern girl, after all!

I usually halve the amounts of the original recipe, because it still makes way more than we can eat without giving away or freezing some. So my recipe is for a 'half' batch, which is still 8-12 servings, depending on the audience. Feel free to double the amounts and go back to celery, if you prefer. I think the amount called for is "5 stalks". Oh, I also add a little thyme, along with the basil... maybe a 1/2 teaspoon or so.

1/2 lb of bacon, chopped
3 lbs potatoes, cubed
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 cup of chopped carrots
3 cups chopped kale
30 oz. chicken broth (or a 15 oz can of broth and then an equal amount of water)
2 tsp salt*
1 tsp pepper*
1 T minced garlic*
2 tsp basil*
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes*
2-3 tsp hot sauce* (Frank's, Tabasco, Texas Pete... whatever you like)
1/2 stick of salted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream

*or season to your taste

Saute chopped bacon in a large stock pot until crispy. Remove to paper towels.
Pour out most of grease, leaving drippings in the pan, but save the grease for later use.**
Add chopped onion to pan, saute until clear.
Add potatoes, carrots, broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
Add chopped kale and allow to wilt on top before stirring them in.
Allow to simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adjusting liquid, if needed. This allows the soup to thicken without the aid of flour or cornstarch.

Return bacon to the pot and add butter and heavy whipping cream, simmer an additional 30 minutes.

**In case you do not know to do this, already... you can keep it in the refrigerator and use it to cook eggs, cornbread, fried things, etc., for excellent flavor.

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