Friday, January 05, 2007

Rustic Potato Chowder

8 to 10 slices Smart Bacon (or real bacon if you're not-veg)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups diced, unpeeled new potatoes, any color (1/4-inch dice)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 cups organic milk (low-fat is fine)
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
another 1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper

fresh chives and/or chive flowers

Create the base: In a large pot cook the Smart Bacon according to package instructions, until browned and crisp. Cool and chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Add ingredients and simmer: In the same pot over medium-high heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil, onions, shallots, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions start to get soft.

Add the diced potatoes and teaspoon of salt and saute for about two minutes. Now add the mustard and milk. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the soup thickens and the potatoes are soft throughout.

Whisk and season: Whisk in the Gruyere cheese, another teaspoon of salt, and a couple pinches of pepper. Garnish with the bacon, fresh chives, and/or chive flowers.

Makes about six big bowls.