8 strips bacon, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 large shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more or less)
2 Tablespoons glutenfree or allpurpose flour
2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 cups 2% milk
4 cups southern style frozen hash browns
8 oz freshly shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 green onions, chopped
In a small bowl whisk together 2 Tablespoons flour with 1/4 cup chicken broth then set aside.
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat then add chopped bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then remove all but 1 Tablespoon bacon grease from the pot. Add celery and shallots, season with pepper, and then sauté until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes then sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups chicken broth, milk, hash browns, and lots of freshly cracked pepper to the pot then turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Slowly drizzle in flour/chicken broth mixture then stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until chowder has thickened and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat then add shredded cheese about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until completely smooth before adding the next batch. Stir in 1/2 the cooked bacon then serve with remaining bacon and green onions.
I made this for the soup cook off I hosted this weekend. It was so good! I made mine in the crockpot so it was even easier and could be kept warm throughout the night.