: Recipe courtesy of Alison Holst

For 4 large servings:

1 tbsp oil
2-4 chopped bacon rashers

1/2-1 tsp minced or finely chopped garlic
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 medium carrot, scrubbed
2 cups hot water
2 medium-large (about 300g) all- purpose or floury potatoes, scrubbed
1 leek or 2 tender celery stalks (optional)
2-3 tsp instant chicken or bacon stock powder
50g butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 tsp basil pesto (optional)
440g can cream-style corn
Chopped parsley and chives

In a large pot over a moderate heat, heat the oil, brown 2-4 chopped bacon rashers in the oil, remove and set aside and then add the garlic while you chop the onion into 7mm cubes.

Stir the prepared onion into the oil and keep cooking the mixture while you chop the carrot into 5mm cubes. Add the hot water, then the prepared carrot.

While the mixture simmers, cut the potatoes into 7mm cubes and thinly slice the celery, if using.

Add the vegetables and the stock powder to the pot. Cover and leave the vegetables to finish cooking while you make the sauce.

Melt the butter in a medium-large pot. Stir in the flour and heat until it bubbles, without letting it brown.

Add the milk, half a cup at a time, stirring constantly and bringing to the boil before the next addition. When it boils after the last measure of milk is added, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the pesto, if using, and the corn.

As soon as the potato and carrot are tender, tip the sauce, the cooked bacon and parsley into the large pot with the vegetables.

Stir to mix thoroughly, and cook for a few minutes to heat through, but don't boil. Serve in large bowls with warmed crusty bread or rolls.