Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bison Potato Soup with Bacon & Jalapenos

Whew! I needed to take a couple days off to catch up from my weekend. It was madness I tell you.

Friday afternoon a very fun editor from Virginia put me in touch with another very fun editor from California. They were in a bit of a crazy bind. Well more like a panic really. They needed new rib, chicken, kabob, and pizza recipes with photographs. Oh and maybe a cover if I could swing it. Oh and everything had to be styled specifically so, but not fussy.

I sort of blinked and read it again. They wanted all this by Sunday night and it was Friday afternoon? I had two thoughts. This is absolutely insane, and heck yeah I’m in! All I can say is I’m very lucky I have a bunch of people around me willing to put up with my 100mph brainstorms. Thanks to all their support I not only got it done while having a good time (although I don't know yet if any of my shots worked for their cover),

but was able to give her two extra recipes just in case.

I don’t know if you realize this, but when you look at my blog you aren’t looking at food styling. I’m giving you the real deal. My goal here is specifically to make real food, take pictures of that real food we’re actually eating, and not spend much time fussing about it. In other words, this is my place to unwind.

On the other hand, when I’m working for a magazine, newspaper or corporation I’m creating a product for their business. Food styling and planning is a must and the creative process is much different than my homey little blog. Admittedly, I thoroughly adore that process. I love to make food beautiful! It’s my art and passion.

What typically happens in those types of situations are recipes get planned and tested beforehand and then cooked again in an um, nicer way to photograph. The point is to make us all drool, and to do that food has to be fussed with quite a bit. Sadly, most of that food can’t be enjoyed and ends up in the trash, which makes me feel shameful.

Thoughts aside, I can tell I’ve been neglecting my happy place here because I’ve been giving you a lot of dessert and soup recipes. When I toss the meat and potatoes to the side so to speak, it means I’m just sharing the end pieces. I’ll spend some time catching up on a few meals. Hopefully on ones with lots of vegetables.

All I’ve got to offer you today is soup, again. Bison soup that I took a quick shot of a couple weeks ago. I hope it’ll be enough for now.

Bison Potato Soup with Bacon & Jalapeños
Here in the Northwest we're still coping with rain while the rest of you are
enjoying the sun. Soup season might run through July at this point.

8 ounce package sharp cheddar, shredded
¼ cup flour plus 2 tablespoons, divided
½ pounds (about two large) russet potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 pound ground bison (ground beef works too)
3 cups chicken broth
1 (12 ounce) bottle beer
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 cups milk
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup jarred jalapenos, diced
2 tablespoons liquid from jalapeño jar
½ pound crispy cooked bacon, chopped

1. Toss the shredded cheese with 2 tablespoons flour, set aside.

2. Scrub potatoes and cut into large dice. Cover with water in a large pot, salt well and bring to a boil. When nearly fork tender strain the water and add the potatoes back to the pot.

3. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high. Add the carrots, onions, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder and cook until softened some, about 5 minutes. Add the bison and cook until no longer pink. (If there’s a lot of fat you can strain some out here.) Add 1/4 cup flour and cook for 3 minutes more minutes. Pour the mixture in with the potatoes.

4. Add the chicken broth, beer and parsley and bring the soup to a high simmer for a few minutes. Add the milk and bring back to a simmer, but do not boil for 5 more minutes stirring often. Turn off heat and stir in cheese until melted. Stir in the sour cream and jalapeño juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Garnish bowls with diced jalapeños and crispy bacon.

Recipe and photograph by Laura Flowers.

Printer Version


Susi's Kochen und Backen said...

Laura - this sounds really, really good! But considering we heat over a 100 F I might have to bookmark this recipe till it cools down (which should be sometime in December). LOL

Joanne said...

I have to say even though I think what you do is SO COOL I'm not sure that I could do it. Serious kudos to you!

This soup looks delicious. I've never had bison before but with tomatoes, bacon, and jalapenos you can't go wrong!

Chef E said...

And you ask me how I do it all, lol!

The title makes me drool, but what I really want- IS THAT BOWL! I love orange, and you already know the colors of your blog make me smile, and your work of course!

Monet said...

This looks great Laura. I'm mostly a vegetarian, but I will occasionally have some meat. I think your blog is beautiful, and I'm glad it is a place where you can "unwind".

Lo said...

I'm sure we'll have a few more cool, rainy spring days to enjoy soups like this. Gotta love anything with a bit of that jalapeno kick.

VegeCooking Club said...

Girl that's plenty for us! You go with your photo shoots!!!!!! Plus I LOVE bison.

Cristie said...

Loved reading your post. I do some food styling in Salt Lake and it is a crazy. So nice to work with a photograher, chef and a stylist. That is happiness.

Can't wait to give your soup a spin :)

Sue said...

I would love to see some of your food styling! How great is get paid for something that you love to do! That's the best! I'm glad we have your blog to admire...your photos here look pretty darn FABULOUS!!!
Laura, I've never had bison, but would like to try it sometime. Does it just taste like beef?

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

What a cool job!!!!!!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Sounds like a busy weekend! I haven't done much food styling/photography for clients at this point, but the small amount I have done has been a lot of work. I pretty much post what we're eating throughout the week and I do my best to make it look decent! This soup looks good, too... I haven't had bison before, but I've heard good things.

The Cooking Photographer said...

There are people who specialize in that stuff Jen, I just attempt to do so. I kind of know how it all works from school and books, but my major was photography not styling.

I just do what you do unless asked otherwise. I've been asked so much lately it makes me wonder if people have stopped hiring real stylists?


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