Cream of Spinach and Bacon Soup

Cream of Spinach and Bacon Soup

6 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 2″ strips
1 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs fresh spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
2/3 to 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
salt and pepper

Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon slices and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until brown. Remove half of the bacon from the pan to a plate and pat dry with a paper towel. Leave the rest of the bacon and drippings in soup pot. Add the onion for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds stirring constantly. Add the spinach and cook, stirring continuously, for 4-5 minutes, until it begins to wilt. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add flour and stir to coat. Cook for about a minute. Add 3 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil, whisking often. Stir 2/3 cup heavy cream or half-and-half and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until very creamy and thickened. If too thick add more cream or chicken stock. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a little of the reserved Parmesan and a sprinkle of the crumbled bacon.

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