SMOKEY CHEDDAR, LEEK AND BACON SOUP
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
4 strips thick cut bacon, divided
1 large leek, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
2 cups diced baby portabella mushrooms
¼ cup flour
1 (32 oz.) container chicken stock or reduced sodium-broth
2 cups peeled and diced cooked potatoes
1 (8-oz) package Fiscalini Smoked Cheddar, shredded
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Snipped fresh chives
1. Cut bacon slices in half and cook until very crisp in a large sauce-pan; remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Crumble into pieces and set aside.
2. Add leeks and mushrooms to pan; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to lightly brown, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes more. Slowly add stock, stirring constantly, until soup is slightly thickened.
4. Add potatoes; simmer, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and stir in cheese a little at a time. Add half the crumbled bacon and season to taste with pepper. Cook over very low heat for 5 minutes more. Ladle into soup bowls, then top with remaining crumbled bacon and snipped fresh chives.