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Creamy Vegetable Soup

This creamy vegetable soup is full of fresh veggies, herbs, potatoes and cheese, then finished with a touch of smoky bacon.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy potato vegetable soup, creamy vegetable soup, vegetable chowder
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 cups
Calories 167kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ cups peeled and diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon each minced fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and fresh parsley (or about ¼ teaspoon of each dried herb)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium russet potato (about 6 ounces), peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • 2 cups whole milk, half-and-half or heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup frozen peas (or sub with frozen cut green beans)
  • 6 ounces cubed Velveeta cheese or 1 ½ cups hand-grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 7-10 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. You should have about 3 tablespoons of drippings in the pot.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter (or enough to total ¼ cup when combined with the drippings in the pot). Heat until the butter melts. Add the carrots, onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent – about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute.
  • Add flour; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring to combine.
  • Add rosemary, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper, mushrooms and potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes and vegetables are just about tender, 10-15 minutes.
  • Add milk and gently simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes (do not boil).
  • Stir in the corn, peas and cheese. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts and the peas and carrots are heated through, about 5 more minutes. Discard the bay leaf; taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. If there is a good amount of fat that rises to the top of the soup, you can skim it off with a spoon and discard the extra fat, or give the pot a good stir just before serving.
  • Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with reserved bacon and additional fresh herbs.

Notes

  • You need a total of ¼ cup of fat in your pot to make the roux. If your bacon doesn't yield 3 tablespoons of drippings, then increase the amount of butter that you add so that the total fat equals ¼ cup. Alternatively, you can omit the bacon entirely and just use ¼ cup of butter.
  • Start with room temperature milk or cream to avoid curdling, and once you add the milk, do not let the soup boil.
  • Use whole milk, half-and-half or cream for a creamy broth. I do not recommend skim milk or other lower-fat alternatives, because you need some fat for that thick consistency.
  • Velveeta cheese melts smoothest into the soup, giving the broth a creamier texture and subtle cheesy flavor. If you prefer to substitute with grated cheddar cheese, make sure that you grate the cheese by hand (rather than using a package of pre-shredded cheese). The pre-shredded cheeses don't melt as smoothly.
  • You do not need to thaw the peas or corn before adding them directly to the soup. They will thaw almost immediately when they hit the hot broth.
  • If there is a lot of fat that rises to the top of your soup, you can spoon it off and discard it before serving, or just give the pot a good stir.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 581mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3034IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 1mg