Hollie's Halloween Chowder

8 ounces sliced bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 10 oz. package frozen chopped broccoli

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup half n half

salt and black pepper

4 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagnol

garlic & cheese flavored croutons

Cook the bacon in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat until crisp...about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Add a tablespoon of unsalted butter to the drippings, then add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft...about 5 to 7 minutes. Add potatoes and brocolli, garlic, paprika and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the stock and half n half and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.

To serve, ladle the chowder into a bowl (preferrably one of Matt Granite's Ways 2 Save China Bowls!) Top with bacon, scallions and croutons!

Happy Halloween!