Earlier this year, our church time moved to two p.m.
This is . . . not a popular time.
But we love it. It gives us a leisurely morning, with plenty of time to make breakfast, read books on the couch, play some games, get ready, have lunch and then the girls can take naps and do quiet time for two hours before we head out.
It’s been really quite delightful.
Of course, it also means that either I have to think about dinner before we go to church or we have to eat pancakes for dinner (for most of the summer? Pancakes. I believe that’s the classic Sunday night dinner of olden days, right).
But now that I’m not feeling as sick and also now that crockpot foods are starting to sound good again since it’s not 200000 degrees, I’ve been trying a little harder to get dinner going before we head out to church.
Last week, I made this in while the girls were in quiet time, stuck it in the fridge, and it was all ready to be warmed up for dinner when we got home. Add some rolls and a salad, and voila! Dinner.
I may or may not have snuck a tiny bowl before church too. I’ll never tell.
Cheesy Potato and Broccoli Soup with Bacon
(adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
3 cups chicken broth
2-3 medium carrots, sliced thinly (I never bother to peel them)
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
3-4 peeled and diced potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cups chopped broccoli
6 slices bacon
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried mustard
Chopped chives or green onions (optional)
In a dutch oven (I have this one from my in-laws a few years ago, and I LOVE it) or stockpot, bring the broth, carrots, celery, potatoes, and onion to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir, and cover the pot and let cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
Meanwhile, cook, in a large frying pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on a paper towel-covered plate, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan.
Add the broccoli to the large pot of vegetables, cover and let cook for another 10 minutes.
Whisk the flour into the bacon drippings (if it’s totally gross to you to use bacon drippings, wipe out the pan and use 3 Tablespoons of butter instead, but really why would you bother cleaning the pan an extra time and waste all the bacon flavor?). Let the flour and drippings cook, stirring constantly, for about 30-60 seconds. Pour in the milk, whisking all the while, and let cook until it starts to bubble and thicken (about five minutes), whisking frequently.
Add the cheddar cheese to the milk mixture in four parts, mixing well between each addition to let it melt. Add the salt, pepper, and dried mustard, then add to the pot of broth and vegetables.
Sir thoroughly to combine, crumble in the bacon slices and salt and pepper to taste.
Top with chopped chives or green onions, if desired, and serve warm!