Soup of the Evening

So in looking for low-carb recipes for my crock pot/pressure cooker, I ran across one that looked good, so I modified it a bit for my own preferences and to make it a little low-carber. It turned out good. Damn good. So here’s the recipe:

Chicken Bacon Broccoli Leek Chowder
(which I have just now decided to call CBBL or “Sybil” Chowder.)

4-8 cloves garlic (depending on your garlic preferences; I use 6), minced
3 green onions, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 stalks of celery, diced (and a wad of the leaves, if you got celery with leaves in it)
8 oz portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 bag (12 oz) frozen broccoli florets (“Steamfresh” or equivalent)
4 tbs butter
2 c chicken stock/broth (I guess there’s a difference, but I don’t really know what it is. I bought broth and it was fine?)
1 lb boneless chicken breast(s)
1 lb bacon
8 oz cream cheese (i.e. a box of Philadelphia)
1 c heavy cream
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp MSG (“Accent Flavor Enhancer”)(optional)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp thyme or rosemary (your choice; I like rosemary)

Dump the minced garlic, onions, leek, mushrooms, and celery in your slow cooker, with 2 tbs butter, 1 c broth, and the salt/pepper/MSG. Cover and cook on ‘low’ for 1 hour.

You now have one hour to do the following:

— Cook the bacon, however you like to cook bacon. I prefer to bake it in the oven myself, but I no longer have an oven, so I went the easy route and got a box of pre-cooked microwaveable bacon (15 slices, which is about what you get out of a pound of raw bacon) and nuked it a bit longer than the instructions said so it would be a little crisper. This is not a gourmet solution. Anyway, after your bacon’s done, chop it into pieces.

— Put the remaining 2 tbs of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s melted, sear your chicken breast(s) on both sides, about 6-8 minutes each side until they’re well-browned. The chicken will not be cooked all the way through, and that’s fine. When that’s done, move the chicken to a plate to cool, turn the heat off on the stove, and pour the remaining cup of broth into the skillet. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the burnt off of the bottom of the skillet. You are basically making unthickened gravy here. When the chicken is cooled off, cut it into cubes a little larger than keyboard keys.

— Dump the broccoli into a colander in your sink and check that it doesn’t have any noticeable lumps of ice on it. If it does, rinse it away with some warm water. Otherwise, leave the broccoli there for now.

— Cut your block of cream cheese into wads. Probably like 8 wads. Leave it on the counter so it’ll soften a bit more.

— You almost certainly have not used up the whole hour, so go fuck around on the internet for a while.

Once the hour is up, stir the contents of your pot and put in the cream cheese. Stir that around till it’s well-mixed and you don’t really see any big lumps of cream cheese anymore. Then add the bacon, chicken, “gravy”, cream, broccoli, garlic powder, and thyme/rosemary. Stir it up and put the lid back on, and cook on ‘low’ for 8 hours.

Serve when finished, or serve whenever if your cooker has a ‘keep warm’ option. It’s not necessary, but you can add a little cheese on top — no food in history has ever been ruined by the addition of a little cheese.

Makes eight 1-cup servings. That’s like appetizer size. For a meal you will want 2-3 cups minimum.

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