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300 Sensational Soups
by Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds

Picture a ski chalet, four feet of fresh powder, brilliant sunshine and lots of hungry skiers. You'll be the hero of the day if you make this soul- warming soup.
Serves 6


• 8 slices bacon, chopped
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 3 cups milk
• 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
• 1/2 tsp salt
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• 12 oz red-skinned potatoes (about 3 medium), cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, tossed with 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
• 2 packages (each 10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained

In a large pot, saute bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.

2. Pour off all but 2 tbsp of the fat in the pot. Add butter and heat until melted. Add onion and saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and saute for 2 minutes.

3. Gradually whisk in milk, stock, salt and cayenne; bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer, stirring often, until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Do not let boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until tender, about 20 minutes.

4. Add cheese, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition until cheese is melted. Do not let boil. Add hot pepper sauce (if using). Add broccoli and simmer, stirring, until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and cayenne, if necessary.

5. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with reserved bacon.

If you prefer, you can substitute 5 cups chopped cooked fresh broccoli (about 3 large stalks).

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