Broccoli, Bacon and Cheddar Chowder

This is a delicious base for all your cream soups. Leave out the broccoli and add another vegetable if you like.


  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (opt: use 1 teaspoon Onion powder instead)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (opt: I add a bit of sugar to all my soups!)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk (opt: use 2 cups of milk + 1 cup heavy cream instead)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (opt: 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes)
  • 12 oz red-skinned potatoes (about 3 medium cut into 1/2 inch dice)
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, tossed with 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese (opt)
  • 2 packages (each 10 oz/300 g) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
  • optional : If you prefer, you can substitute 4 to 5 cups chopped cooked fresh broccoli instead of frozen


  1. In a large pot, saute bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tbsp of the fat in the pot.
  4. Add butter and heat until melted.
  5. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with flour and sauté for 2 minutes. *opt: onion powder
  7. Gradually whisk in milk – or milk & cream, broth, salt and cayenne or pepper flakes, sugar; bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring often, until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Do not let boil.
  8. Add potatoes, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until tender, about 20 minutes.
  9. Add Cheddar & Parmesan cheese (opt) 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition until cheese is melted. Do not let Boil!
  10. Add broccoli and simmer, stirring, until heated through.
  11. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and cayenne, if necessary.
  12. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with reserved bacon.