How Do I Add a Featured Post Widget to the Homepage?

Hi There –

On our website we are looking to add a Featured Post area. We would like it to be on the homepage directly under the blue “email newsletter signup” bar (the first one at the top right below the slider). We had thought the theme we are using would have included such a widget, but unfortunately it does not.

We want it to be a fairly standard Featured Post area, with a large rectangular area for the Post’s Featured Image and with text over on the right side of the Featured Image. Also, we’d like a title above the Featured Post area that reads, “Latest Blog Post”.

Is there a plugin for this type of thing? A piece of code I can put into the functions file? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!