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8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and chopped
2 cups thinly sliced brussel sprouts, (caramelized in some of the rendered bacon fat)
2 Tbs butter
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tbs fresh chopped thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
5 cups peeled, halved and thinly sliced potatoes
approx. 3-4 cups vegetable broth
approx. 1 - 2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)
Cut all the vegetables you need for the soup, except for the potatoes, and also crisp up 8 slices of bacon in a large saute pan.
Add 2 Tbs of butter to a heavy bottomed soup pot and add 1 medium diced onion and 1 large peeled and thinly sliced carrot.
Turn the heat way down on that and stir the vegetables around as they slowly soften up and, while you're keeping your eye on that, peel and thinly slice 5 cups of potatoes....the thinner you slice the potatoes, the faster they'll cook.
Add 1 large minced clove of garlic to the softened onions and an optional 1 Tbs fresh chopped thyme and cook that along for a minute.
Then add the sliced potatoes and add enough vegetable broth to cover the potatoes.
Bring that up to a nice steady simmer and adjust the heat and let it cook along like that and stay with the bacon and take it out of the pan when it's nice and crisp.
Pour off about half of the rendered bacon fat and saute a couple of cups of thinly sliced brussel sprouts to caramelize and soften up a bit.
Turn the heat off on the brussel sprouts when you're happy with those.
Once the potatoes are nice and soft, use a hand blender to puree them, adding a little milk as you need to....to give it a nice creamy soup consistency.
Then season it to taste and serve it up with some of the caramelized brussel sprouts, chopped crispy bacon and grated cheddar cheese.
Leave the bacon out of the recipe and saute the sliced brussel sprouts in olive oil for a vegetarian version.
: Chef Dan Eaton spent his early years on a dairy farm in Vermont where he developed a fondness for foods "straight from the land." Cooking seasonally was more of a necessity then but Dan still finds local ingredients, in season, a driving force behind his menu creations.