Bacon, Vichyssoise, and Sore Shoulders!

I returned to Philly after 8 blissful days in Georgia. I spent a couple of days appropriately reclaiming my apartment with sprawling laundry then headed to my first-ever session at RowZone at 18th and Chestnut to make up for my months of muscular grumpiness.

Hooooweee, am I sore! RowZone is the next best thing since Spinning and is a great way to break up the monotony of any gym routine. I get bored very easily, so I’m happy to say I have the beginner’s 5-class pack to use this summer. If you feel the need to break up your cardio, check it out!

I planned my trip around our CSA pickup, and I also nabbed a couple more Southern Living recipes from my mom’s book while I was in Georgia. I decided that while it’s not the most seasonally appropriate item, I would make a soup. I was indecisive as to which I would choose. But…

Today, I will share with you a version of

Southern Living’s Zucchini Potato Soup.

2014-07-20 23.03.01

This past Thursday was our Greensgrow Farms Summer Farmshare CSA #5 (since we get a half share, we pick up every other week still). Here is our list of delcious summer bounty:

PRODUCE: Products used in this recipe are bold and starred*.

 Fischer Farm, Christiana, PA
Cubanelle Peppers: Marolda Farm, Vineland, NJ
Blueberries: Blueberry Bill Farms, Hammonton, NJ
Peaches: Fifer Orchard, Camden Wyoming, DE
Leeks*: Stoltzfus Farm, Oxford, PA
Rainbow Carrots: Glick Farm, Quarryville, PA
Chiogga Beets: Glick Farm, Quarryville, PA
Corn: AT Buzby Farm, Hammonton, NJ

I also purchased 2 Zucchinis* and a pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes from the farmstand!

1 dozen cage free eggs: Sandy Ridge Farm, Elizabethtown, PA

Handy gadgets for this recipe:

  • Finger Guard – for chopping those slippery leeks! I like my fingers where they are, thank you very much.
  • A Kuhn Rikon Chop Chop – I used this for the celery, garlic, and kale. It cleans so much easier than an electric food processor, especially in my tiny kitchen!
  • An immersion blender – less clean-up and fun to use!

 This recipe was full of mistakes and adjustments!

I’ve never followed a recipe to the letter, but this one is particularly creative. The reasons for my variations are insistence, scarcity, and mistakes.

  • I was insistent upon using the Kale from the farmshare; it is withering, and I have  a lot of it.
  • New potatoes were not available. I looked up what spud was good in a soup and chose a good-looking red potato*.
  • I accidentally bought pork shoulder bacon because it advertised 45% less fat. Since I’m doing Weight Watchers, I thought this might be a great idea. I should have read my labels (and the recipe) more carefully. I needed much more bacon fat to sauté the leeks, celery, and garlic. What did I do? I pulled a French-ification and used BUTTER*! (If you haven’t seen Julie and Julia, you really must.)

Here is the original recipe with my omissions in strikethrough, modifications and/or additions in bold, and photos to help you follow my process. All photos are my own.


2014-07-20 21.47.02

(Of course I forgot the zucchini and the garlic for this photo, but oh well.)

  • 1 medium leek
  • 4 bacon slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 pound zucchini, sliced (about 3 small squash, or 2 large)
  • 1/2 pound small new red potatoes, quartered in 1-inch chunks (I only needed one potato!)
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  •  1/3 cup chopped fresh 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Remove root, tough outer leaves, and tops from leek, leaving 2 inches of dark leaves. Thinly slice leek; rinse well, and drain.                                                                                                                           2014-07-20 21.51.47 2014-07-20 21.53.42 2014-07-20 21.57.24 2014-07-20 21.58.02
    1. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in Dutch oven. Crumble bacon. I bought pork shoulder bacon which advertised 45% less fat, so it did not yield enough bacon fat, so I threw in about a tablespoon of butter with the remaining drippings.                                  2014-07-20 22.08.30
  2. Sauté leek, celery, and garlic in hot drippings and 1 tablespoon of butter for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. 2014-07-20 22.05.07 2014-07-20 22.08.58 2014-07-20 22.13.43
  3. Add chicken broth, zucchini, potatoes, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes. Add kale about ten minutes into this process. 2014-07-20 22.15.32 2014-07-20 22.19.36  2014-07-20 22.19.58 2014-07-20 22.32.23
  4. Stir in half-and-half, parsley, salt, and pepper. (This recipe needed more salt than the original because the kale added more water. Taste and season to your preference.) Remove from heat, and cool 5 minutes. 2014-07-20 22.52.01 2014-07-20 22.54.43
  5. Process potato mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. 2014-07-20 22.56.50 2014-07-20 22.56.56 2014-07-20 23.01.24
  6. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon, and serve immediately, or if desired, cover and chill 4 to 6 hours.   2014-07-20 23.03.07

I served up this bowl for myself and chilled the rest. I brought it with me on a quick trip to CT and shared it with some friends with the rest of the bacon. It was a hit!


Zucchini and Potato Soup: 6 Points (This recipe makes 4 large servings, one slice of bacon per serving.)

Ways to make this lighter and with fewer points:

  • Use non-fat half and half. This will reduce points from 6 to 5 per serving.
  • Use slightly less butter. It won’t bring it down a full point, but you could have a little bit more and still be in the 6-point range!


On deck for next week: something with all the delicious berries that are in season! Yum!


Have you tried this recipe or others I’ve posted? Tag me on Instagram @phillyfoodventures or Twitter @PHLFoodVentures or use the hashtag #phillyfoodventures with me! Thank you!




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