Bunny Bisque

The winner of the Trader Joes Cookbook is...(chosen by random.org)
#58! Team Clancy who said...
"Chicken Marsala Casserole looks tasty!!!"
Congrats! Drop me an email with your address and I'll send it out!
Spring is coming!!
There are soooooo many goodies associated with the season (chocolate bunnies!!), I decided we needed to start off with something a little more healthy. Gourmet Dad's comment?..."it tasted a whole lot better than I thought it would!" This is actually really delicious and packed with Vitamin A. Generally, cooking spoils the nutritional value of food items. But, in the case of carrots, it is the contrary, their nutritional value increases on cooking. I made extra breadsticks for dipping and they gobbled it up.
Bunny Bisque
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped (reserve a few carrot shreds for the bunny whiskers)
6 strips ready-cooked bacon, crumbled
1 small onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and diced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. salt
1 bay leaves
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream (I actually used fat free half and half and it tasted great)
8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bunny Garnish Ingredients:
cherry tomato
sour cream (or cream cheese)
shredded carrot

Pour olive oil n a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger and celery. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add remaining ingredients except cream, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove bay leaves. Place soup in a food processor or blender along with cream cheese and and process until smooth. Return mixture to pot over low heat. Add cream and more salt and pepper to taste.

To make bunnies, toast a piece of bread and slice as shown:
On the bunny face, add a small amount of sour cream (or cream cheese) for eyes and place olives on top. Add another small amount of sour cream and attach a cherry tomato nose (a cherry tomato sliced in half). Add a few shredded carrot whiskers. Place bunny face in soup bowl and add ears, resting them on the bowl edge. Have everyone "hop" to the table to enjoy!

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