Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Celebrating Soup Weather!

Yes! Daytime temps here in north Texas finally fell below the 70 degree mark. 
And, alert the media, we even dipped into the 30's at night. 

Okay, so that kind of weather won't be around for long. At least not here. That means we have to make the most of it, right?

Halloween was our, comparatively, chilly day and I wanted something warm, hearty and Trim Healthy Mama approved for dinner. Earlier in the week, a friend had shared a recipe she found for a Crock Pot version of Chicken Bacon Chowder that sounded so yummy I couldn't wait to try it.

You can find that recipe here

But since it was about 4:30 in the afternoon when I decided to make it, the Crock Pot was not an option. Plus I wanted to play with some of the ingredients.

Here's what I came up with.

You will need:
  • Cooked chicken breasts (I used two because that's what I had, but would have preferred 3 or 4)
  • 1  12 oz pkg Bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 3oz pkg of Cream Cheese
  • 4 - 6 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream (more, if you like)
  • 2 Tbs Butter 
  • 1/2 of a large onion, diced
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced (you can use more, or less, if you like)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tsp Thyme
  • a couple shakes of red pepper flakes
First, we're going to cook our bacon. Talk about making mouths water. If you have people who are going to want to sample the bacon, then you might want to cook up a little extra. 
Once the bacon is crispy, remove from pan and drain off most, but not all, of the grease.

Then add your butter.

Once that's melted, add your onion, bell pepper and celery and saute until softened.

These look about ready. And yes, that's a different pan.
Here's where you get a little insight into how this blonde brain of mine actually functions. 
Hmm...I want to make the soup in my cast iron dutch oven, but I've got to cook the bacon.
But that won't work in the dutch oven, so I guess I'll have to start with a skillet.
Did it ever occur to me that I was cutting the bacon up?
Of course, not.
Insert head slap and keep going.

Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.

Sliced thin, they don't take long.

Now add your chicken broth.

Once that's good and heated, add your cream cheese.
I cubed mine up so it would melt faster.

Once the cream cheese melted, I added the cheddar.
You could add more than 4 oz, if you like, which is what I think I'll do next time.
Maybe more like 6 oz. Oh, just add the entire 8 oz. brick.

Then throw in your cooked bacon. Or whatever's left of it after everyone has had a taste.

Next comes the cream and the seasonings.

And, finally, the chicken.

Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, though you could definitely go longer.

And voila!
Low carb heaven in a bowl.

This is definitely one of those recipes you could play with to create different flavors.
Like maybe add a can of green chilies for a southwestern flavor. A little corn would work nicely with that, even though it would add some carbs.

The original recipe called for basil. Makes me think Italian, in which case I might add some Parmesan instead of cheddar, perhaps a little oregano.

I love recipes you can play with. Ones that start with a good base.
And with bacon as a base, what could possibly go wrong?

What would you add to yours?


  1. YUM! Can't wait to try it here. :-)

    1. Allison, I thought Florida was or is about to get some cold weather. Cold being relative, of course. ;)

  2. You know, this appears to be totally low-carb friendly! I love that about high-level meat/veggie soups and stews, as long as you leave the corn and potatoes at the roadside!

    My Manhattan clam chowder (the NY version with tomato sauce) starts with a bacon base and that adds the best background to it. Mindy, this sounds awesome!

    1. Sorry, I. Late to the party again. Been traveling today. I'm helping my SIL get ready for my nephew's wedding reception this Saturday. She helped so much with my daughter's wedding, so it's great to be able to switch roles. I'm calm, she's freaking out. ;)

      Bacon just makes everything better, doesn't it, Ruthy? Like I said, it's hard to go wrong when bacon is your starting point.

  3. Sounds good! We're had to turn our heat on here, so this sounds good for a cold evening!

    1. Missy, this is the time of year that drives me crazy. Heat in the morning, A/C in the afternoon. Love those chilly evenings, though. :)

  4. We had soup last night and I told ManO it is going to be a soup winter. Thanks for the start on a new list of recipes.

    1. Julie, did y'all get snow over the weekend? When I heard NC, I thought of you. I think this may be an interesting winter.

  5. This is one our favorite Trim Healthy Mama recipes!!!!

    Of course, my carb-loving family has to have potatoes, though. So I add some chunks of taters, and then sort them out of my serving.

    I also add a couple cubes of the homemade mushroom soup concentrate. The give the soup an extra ooomph of flavor. Here's the address for that post: http://yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com/2014/03/homemade-cream-of-mushroom-soup.html

    But we love that blend of mushrooms, chicken, bacon and cream cheese - fabulous!!

    1. Jan, I must have blanked out on that post. Must revisit.

      Can't wait to do some experimentation with this recipe, though. But no taters. ;)

  6. looks yummy - I think I need to add some carbs though (maybe bread!)
    supposed to cool off here - only had a few teases of cool weather but supposed to rain then cool off here.