Hash Brown Potato Cheese Soup

6-8 slices bacon, cut into 1/8 inch slices and cooked until crisp. (Bacon is easy to slice when frozen.)
4 carrots, peeled, shredded
1 medium sweet yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
30 ounce package Frozen Shredded Hash Browns, thawed
6 cups Unsalted Chicken or Vegetable Broth or Stock
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt (start with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed after adding the cheese)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or ½ teaspoon Cajun Spice (such as Emeril’s Essence)
1 teaspoon Fines Herbes (a mixture of chervil, parsley, tarragon & chives) or parsley
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Milk
2 cups Grated Cheese; a mixture of Cheddar and Gruyere tastes great.
Garnishes: chopped chives, crispy bacon, sautéed shredded carrots

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Set bacon aside and add immediately before serving.
  2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease from pan.
  3. Return pan to heat and sauté shredded carrots and diced onions until onions are translucent and carrots soften and begin to caramelize. (If desired, set aside 3 tablespoons of the sautéed vegetables to use as garnish.)
  4. Sprinkle flour over sautéed onions and carrots, mix well and cook 30 seconds.
  5. Add chicken stock and seasonings.
  6. See *NOTE if a smoother soup is desired. See **NOTE if you want to add broccoli or cauliflower.
  7. Add hash browns and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.
  8. Add cream and milk and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Watch closely so soup doesn’t scald.
  9. Add cheese and stir until cheese melts.
  10. Taste the soup, and if needed, add more salt and other seasonings.
  11. Serve immediately.
  12. Garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, chives, sautéed carrot/onion mixture.
  13. Enjoy!

*NOTE: Directions to follow if a smoother soup is desired:
Before adding the cream and milk, use a hand blender (or stick blender) to puree the soup, then add the cream and milk.
**NOTE: This soup is the perfect base for adding steamed, frozen or roasted cauliflower or broccoli. Just add the vegetables when adding the chicken stock.

Original Recipes visit: Hash Brown Potato Cheese Soup @ thecookierookie.com

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