School starts this Thursday, where we live. The new Husker football season is so close, my husband is already scooting forward in his chair anticipating being able to
holler cheer at the TV screen. 🙂 Days are shorter, nights are cooler and more and more of the little cues that announce the arrival of autumn are popping up each morning. It puts me in the mood to bake and to make hearty, savory, comfort food dishes. I’m inspired to get a soup pot bubbling in the kitchen and bake some lovely, crusty bread. Thanks to some excellent coupon deals, that was simple to accomplish, this weekend!
I’ve been on a real Jalapeno Popper kick, for some reason. Maybe the impending football season has my mind going to quick and easy “football food”. Maybe it’s just that I love the spicy kick of jalapeno in combination with creamy cheese and bacon. Who could say? lol Anyway, I’ve had lots of fun deconstructing all the delicious flavors in Jalapeno Poppers and putting them into other dishes, this week, like this dip from way back in 2011. So, naturally, when I got the opportunity to work with #CollectiveBias on Kraft’s #PackedWithSavings project I got this crazy idea to try and make a Creamy Jalapeno Popper Soup! From that came an idea to use this delicious soup, (which I’ll share with you, today), as the base for a Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chowder and THEN I started thinking I’ll bet I could make some fantastic little crusty bread Jalapeno Popper bite appetizers. So, you’re going to get all three this week! If you’re not set for fall and football, by then…well, I’m just not sure I can help you! 🙂
You’ve known me long enough to know that just as much as I love coming up with over-the-top delicious recipes that my family will love, I love saving money on the food and ingredients I need to prepare them. This week I hit the jackpot with all the Kraft Foods online coupons available to print! I saved $1 on the bacon, 75¢ on the cheese and 50¢ on the cream cheese. There are printable savings available for TWENTY-TWO different Kraft Foods products! These are all limited time offers. When they’re gone, they’re gone. So, hurry and print yours, today, for some awesome savings on the Kraft products you know and love.
When you mince the veggies for this soup, try to keep them tiny, so the flavor is infused into the smooth creamy broth, quickly. You’ll sneak them right by your non-veggie eaters a lot easier, too. 🙂 I didn’t try it, but I’m guessing you could actually blend them right into the broth if you wanted 100% smooth soup. I love texture in my food, so we left them minced, in ours.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more pleased with the way a recipe came together. The spicy, delicious flavor was spot-on for jalapeno poppers. The texture was creamy and smooth studded with tiny minced veggies and crumbles of smoky bacon. It took about half an hour to prepare and even without coupons, it would be an economical dish to serve a crowd. With the coupons it was an extraordinary bargain! I can’t wait for you to taste it or to share my twist of it, in my Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chowder. For today, test out the simple soup recipe and in a few days, we’ll add the chowder to your files. Enjoy!
- 12 oz. Kraft Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, coarsely grated
- 8 oz. Kraft Monterey Jack Cheese, coarsely grated
- 8 oz. PHILADELPHIA Brand Cream Cheese
- 6 cups homemade (or other high quality) chicken stock
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 large red bell pepper, finely minced
- ½ medium red onion, finely minced
- 4 jalapeno peppers, finely minced
- 8 slices Oscar Mayer Butcher Cut Bacon
- optional, garnish ideas: sour cream, parsley, cilantro, shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon
- Place the bacon on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the bacon is crispy. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels. Set aside for later.
- While the bacon cooks, wash and mince the bell pepper, jalapenos and onion. (Be sure to use gloves when working with the jalapenos. Most of the heat will come from the seeds and veins of the jalapenos. Remove or leave in as many as suit your personal tastes. I seeded and de-veined 2½ of the peppers and left the seeds and veins in 1½. It was the perfect spicy kick for our tastes.)
- Place the minced veggies and chicken stock in a large soup pot. Use a really good and flavorful chicken stock. I used my own homemade bone broth, but if you don't have homemade, be sure you purchase high-quality stock. A good deal of your soup's flavor will come from it.
- Heat the chicken stock and veggies to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to continue simmering, about 10 minutes. Veggies will still be bright and colorful, but beginning to soften slightly.
- Grate the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Cut the cream cheese into 1" cubes.
- Add Cheddar, Monterey Jack and cream cheese to the broth and veggies. Continue to simmer over low heat, stirring until cheese is melted and combined. (As with all cream or cheese soups, overcooking and too high a temperature can lead to curdling or separating, so don't let the soup boil, once the cheese has been added. )
- Add the heavy cream and continue cooking over low heat, until the soup is heated through. Remove from the heat.
- Crumble 5 slices of bacon and stir into the soup.
- Crumble the other 3 slices and use to garnish individual bowls of soup.
- I placed a small dollop of sour cream in the center of each bowl, then added a few shreds of Extra Sharp Cheddar, some bacon crumbles, minced parsley and a thin jalapeno slice. You can dress it up or eat it plain, as you prefer. It will rock your quick supper world, either way!