by Tawnya Manion
6 slices of smoked bacon
1-whole yellow onion; chopped
3 whole carrots; diced
3 stalks celery; diced
6 whole Russet potatoes; peeled and diced
8 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt; more to taste
black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. blackened spice mix
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. fresh parsley; minced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese
1. Add bacon to a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook it until it's crispy; about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon, and pour off half of the grease. Keep the other half of the grease in the pot.
2. Return the pot to the stove and reheat it to medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for two minutes. Then, add the potatoes, saute for 5 more minutes. Season with salt, pepper, blackened spice mix, and Cayenne pepper.
3. Pour the broth into the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and milk to create a slurry, then pour into the soup and allow it to cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Pour half of the soup into a blender/food processor and blend until completely smooth. Return the blended mixture to the pot and reheat it to a simmer. Stir in the cream and parsley.
5. Serve in individual bowls with sprinkles of bacon, parsley, and cheese (I also always add extra pepper).
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