Today’s post is thanks to the amazing Ang, who’s been cooking up a storm lately. I recently reached out to her about doing a guest post for The Little Red Kitchen, and she came up with this delicious, hearty soup (perfect for the now chilly weather). Thanks for reading!
This recipe came about from my boyfriend wanting loaded bacon potato soup, and me wanting more vegetables included. I had left over pieces of bell pepper, and butternut squash, and broccoli from other dishes, so I got a little creative. If you don’t have or don’t like an ingredient, substituting here or there will only improve it to your taste! Chicken or beef would go well too, but I use them a lot last week and thought the pork would be a nice change. Also, would be fine to be a vegetarian soup too! It is really easy, but make sure you use the largest pot you have! Mine was filled very close to the top and is 6 qts.
3 large carrots
1 onion (white or yellow)
3 stalks celery
1 bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
1/2 small-med butternut squash
2 small crowns broccoli
3 tablespoons flour
2-3 bay leaves
3 Cups broth
1 cup water
3/4 cup mushrooms
5 russet potatoes
2-6 slices of bacon, as you wish
3 tablespoons butter
1.25 lbs ground pork (I used half ground pork, half sweet italian sausage)
1 cup whole milk (can sub another % of milk, cream)
Chop the first 6 vegetables into small pieces, not diced but not big chunks. Bite size, say. Set aside. Cut potatoes into medium 1 inch chunks, also set aside.
Throw the bacon into a hot (med-high heat) dutch oven or similar large pot. Don’t let it get too crispy, set on a paper towel and leave to cool.
Dice the bacon (or wait until later when the soup’s simmering). Alternatively, you can dice bacon prior to cooking it.
Drain most of the bacon grease from the pot, add butter.
When the butter has melted, add carrots, onion, celery, 1/2 tblsp salt and pepper.
Cook til slightly softened, stirring often. This will take about 6 minutes. Then add broccoli and butternut squash and bell pepper, stir, cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir, cook until fragrant, or 5 minutes.
Add 3 tablespoons flour, stir to evenly distribute.
Then add 4 cups of broth/liquid. I used 2 C chicken broth, 1 C pork broth leftover from pulled pork, and 1 C water. Since my broths were pretty concentrated, I used 1 cup of water instead of a 4th cup of broth.. To this, add 2-3 bay leaves.
This will heat up for 10 minutes, and is a good time to cook the meat– in a separate pan cook the pork, add small dash cardamom, salt, pepper, and a tsp sriracha or other hot sauce. Cook until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Bring the liquid to a slow boil, add green pepper. Lower heat and put on lid for 10-15 minutes.
Add pork and potatoes to the mix, stir to make sure its combined, cover. Wait 15-20 minutes.
Stir, check progress of potatoes, add mushrooms and milk.
Cover again and wait another 15-20 minutes. Check on the potatoes and stir at 10 minutes and then at 15. Add bacon pieces and stir, replace lid and turn off heat. Let sit 15 minutes before serving. Try to find the bay leaves–this is pretty easy to do when ladeling the soup into bowls.
Add your favorite cheese by grating on top and serve!
Thanks Kaitlin and Lauren!