Winter Vegetable Chowder



3/4 pound bacon, chopped (regular, center cut, or turkey)
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 medium sweet onions, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced into rounds
2 celery ribs, sliced into pieces
2 medium parsnips, chopped
2 medium turnips, chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
2 32-oz boxes vegetable stock (*Recommended: Emeril’s)
1 medium sweet potato, diced
3 small red potatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup minced fresh parsley
1 cup half and half (regular or fat free)


In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels and drain, reserving 3 Tbsp of the drippings. If using turkey bacon, add in extra virgin olive oil to get 3 Tbsp of fat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add in the carrots, celery, parsnips, and turnips, stir, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add in the flour, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste, and stir to coat the vegetables. Gradually add in the vegetable stock, stirring constantly, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and avoiding lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil, add in the sweet potato and red potatoes, bay leaves, and whole thyme sprigs (the leaves will fall off while cooking). Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add in the parsley and half and half, re-season with salt and pepper if necessary, and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve.

*Note: Kitchen Basics brand vegetable stock is too sweet for this recipe. Emeril’s Vegetable Stock or Swanson Vegetable Broth is recommended.
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