Ask and Ye Shall Receive: Potato-Bacon Chowder Recipe

In the comments on my favorite soups post from last week, there were a few requests for the recipe for potato-bacon chowder. I thought I’d make a pot in order to have some to photograph for this post, but as luck would have it, I froze a bowl of it last time I made some, so not only could I take a picture, but I had lunch for two days with no work. Nice!

I take no credit for the creation of this recipe – I got it from John “JC” Campbell, the cook at Eamonn’s, where I used to work when I lived in the Albany area. The bar is long since gone (it burned down several years ago), so I don’t think it’s giving away secrets to share it now. Enjoy!

Potato-Bacon Chowder

Eamonn’s Potato-Bacon Chowder

6-8 large potatoes
8-9 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 15-ounce cans chicken broth
2 cups water
milk as needed
1/2 cup roux *

Boil the potatoes in the chicken stock and water until they start to soften. Add the bacon and celery, boil for about 10 minutes. Add the onion and boil another 10-15 minutes. Thicken slowly with the roux. Add milk until a creamy consistency is reached. The soup should have a creamy base with lots of potato chunks.

By the way, this recipe is pretty easily adjustable to larger or smaller quantities. In fact, JC gave it to me in the amounts the way he made it – five gallons at a time. The measures above make eight-ish servings.

* I learned this from JC as melted butter and flour mixed to the consistency of pancake batter. I now know there are other ways of making roux, but I’ve never tried them with this soup. You’re welcome to, though.

14 thoughts on “Ask and Ye Shall Receive: Potato-Bacon Chowder Recipe

  1. Fran January 21, 2012 / 6:44 am

    Thank you ! I just added bacon to my shopping list. Comfort food.

  2. Mom January 21, 2012 / 7:19 am

    And thanks from me too, Sarah. Can’t wait to make it!!

  3. Mom January 21, 2012 / 7:23 am

    P.S. just peeked out the window & even glasses-less I can see 5-6″ of snow & it is still falling. Crawled back into warm bed :). Shopping will have to wait (the whole day is gonna wait !)

  4. Shannon January 21, 2012 / 9:50 am

    Oh thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!! But like Mom, it is snowing out like it is actually winter for once so I will have to wait to go buy ingredients. Torture!!!

    Yes, as bizarre as it sounds, we actually do NOT have a pound of bacon in the house right now.

  5. Mom January 21, 2012 / 4:40 pm

    Hey All.

    Just made this — tweeked it a bit — can’t help myself — only made 1/2 Sarah’s recipe, but used a full compliment of crispy bacon. Also added some FGP and a bit of sea salt, and a little chopped parsley. (I know. Irish are into bland. I grew up one.) I’d also used salt-free broth, so that makes a dif too. The pot is now sitting on the stove (off) “getting happy”. Will have dinner shortly! The “tasters” are yummy 🙂

    • Sarah January 21, 2012 / 5:08 pm

      What is “FGP”?

  6. Mom January 21, 2012 / 5:17 pm

    Fresh Ground Pepper !

    • Sarah January 21, 2012 / 5:19 pm

      Oh, I use a lot of that too. It’s just not in the official recipe. Thought I added “black pepper to taste,” but maybe I forgot. I used peppercorn bacon last time I made it, which was perfect.

  7. Mom January 21, 2012 / 5:21 pm

    Not to worry. We cooks have it all covered!

  8. Shannon January 22, 2012 / 11:57 am

    What kind of milk…whole? Creme? Just curious what others are doing. I would like a thicker consistency but don’t know how fatty to go on the milk.


    • Sarah January 22, 2012 / 11:31 pm

      I’m pretty sure either cream or half-and-half was the official recommendation when JC gave me the recipe, but I have always used whatever I have on hand, which is usually 1% or skim.

  9. Shannon January 24, 2012 / 1:26 pm

    I think your roux was darker than mine too, My soup came out whiter…I used 1% but maybe a little too much roux (didn’t quite measure it out correctly) and it came out thicker than intended.

    2nd attempt will be better I’m sure, but 1st attempt was yummy!

    • Sarah January 24, 2012 / 4:27 pm

      Actually, I think the reason mine came out so dark is because I may have boiled the potatoes in the same pot I fried the bacon in. Gross, but kinda delicious.

      • Shannon January 25, 2012 / 10:08 am

        Funny that…I was planning on creating the next roux from the leftover bacon grease.

        I will be making it for my office soup social for next Monday and will let you know how it turns out.

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