Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and render until crisp. Remove the bacon, finely chop and reserve for later use. Spoon off all but a few tablespoons of the smoky drippings. Melt the butter into the drippings and reduce the heat a bit. Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Add the garlic, parsnips, onions, some black pepper and nutmeg. Add the parsley, then partially cover the pot and cook to soften, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; the color of the veg should be light golden. Remove the parsley. Puree the vegetables with the stock (in batches if necessary) in a food processor or blender, or add the stock to the soup pot and use an immersion blender. Stir in the reserved bacon bits then season the soup with salt.
Cool the soup and store for a make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium-high heat and add in the cream. Serve in shallow bowls with chives to garnish, and buttered rolls to dunk.
Place the chicken in a pot over a bed of bay leaves, garlic, celery, parsley, carrots and onions. Sprinkle with salt and fill the pot with water to cover the chicken. Sprinkle in a few peppercorns. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 45 minutes, turning occasionally. Turn off the heat and cool the chicken in the broth. Separate the meat from the bones and skin. Reserve the meat and discard the bones and skin. Strain the stock.
You can make this meal as a stand-alone with store-bought stock, or you can make the Poached Chicken if you will use the meat in other meals this week.
When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray