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4 slices smoked bacon
2 T. Crisco vegetable oil
1 c. chopped yellow onions
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced (white and pale green parts only)
2 stalks celery, cleaned and sliced
2 parsnips, cleaned and sliced
2 medium carrots, cleaned and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14-oz.) cans chicken stock
3 c. half-and-half or milk
2 c. Hungry Jack Mashed Potato Flakes
1/2 t. ground thyme
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 T. chopped fresh parsley

Cook bacon in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove cooked bacon. Cool and crumble. Set aside.

Add oil, onions, leeks, celery, parsnips and carrots to bacon drippings in pan. Reduce heat to medium, cooking slowly, about 25 minutes or until vegetables begin to brown lightly. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes more. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; stir in half-and-half, mashed potato flakes, thyme, salt, pepper, parsley and reserved bacon. Warm through and serve.

All materials are courtesy of J.M. Smucker’s Products.

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Published in the December 14, 2005 issue of Farm World.