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Chicken Potato Soup (With Leeks and Bacon, Oh My!)

Yo ho ho, it’s soup season, and this little ditty will knock your socks off.

Chicken and Potato Soup with Bacon
Prep and cook time: 45 minutes

2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 white onion , chopped
6 bacon slices, sliced
2 leeks , washed and sliced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound new potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
4 tablespoons cream
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

1. Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes until slightly softened. Add bacon and leeks and cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring. (I’m not a fan of soggy bacon in soups, so I usually cook the bacon for at least 5 minutes before adding the leeks and then continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.)

2.  In a bowl, mix the flour with enough of the broth to make a smooth paste and stir it into the pan. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining broth, then add the potatoes and chicken. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are tender and cooked through.

3. Stir in the cream and cook another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and ladle into bowls. Garnish with parsley.

Delicious, you all. DELICIOUS.

My Guide to Laguna Beach

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I’ve been involved in quite a love affair with Laguna Beach for some time, as many of you have witnessed on my Instagram account and blog over the past decade. It all started 14 years ago, when my boyfriend (now husband) and I were living, working, and freezing our tushes off in Chicago. I recall, on one particularly frigid evening in our drafty kitchen, I looked at him and said (through chattering teeth), “maybe we should move to Southern California.” Two weeks later, we signed a lease on a tiny apartment in Laguna Beach.

We lived in Laguna Beach for a couple of years, then moving on to Corona del Mar and finally Newport Beach, but Laguna has always held a very special place in my heart. However, my love for this town has grown leaps and bounds over the past two years since we relocated to Oklahoma. Due to work commitments (thank you, career!) and family trips, I’ve been back to visit Laguna six times, which has been so lovely.

Any coastal Southern Californian will agree that living and visiting the area are two very different beasts, so the past couple of years have given me the opportunity to experience the town again as a tourist, despite my experience as a local from years’ past. This month, I collaborated with Visit Laguna to create a guide of my favorite Laguna haunts coupled with some unfamiliar, suggested stops. So, sit back (no really, sit down…it’s long), relax, and enjoy my guide to Laguna Beach.

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