Monday, March 8, 2010

Bacon Potato Soup

Potatoes and bacon are some of the most fun foods available to most unlicensed persons. Combine them and you always come up w/ a bowl full of wonderful. Or, at least you do when you make this fun potato soup.

Here's what you need:
8  potatoes
8 strips of bacon
1 large onion
~20 oz chicken stock
1 cup milk
salt and pepper

First thing you want to do is start frying up the bacon. I just chuck them right in the pot I'm making the soup and turn the heat up to high.


I don't worry about making sure they don't stick together or lay perfect flat or anything like that. You just cut them up into bits later. They are done when they look about like this:

While the bacon is cooking chop up eight potatoes and an onion. I chop the potatoes into inconsistently sized chunks. The small bits dissolve and make a rich, thick soup while the large bits remain intact and add variety and texture.

Remove the bacon and chop into wee bits. Try to eat less than 90% of it during this process. Drain all but about two tablespoons of the rendered bacon grease from the pot and save for later use. Throw the chunks of potato in the pot under high heat. You want to get them browned a little. Don't worry about cooking through.

Pour in your stock now, enough to just cover the potatoes. A little bit of water to top off doesn't hurt.

This is a recipe where I feel the quality of the stock matters. I used some (my last, sadly) I made from turkeys that I smoked and that really emphasized the bacon. Most people don't have that laying around but do at least try to use homemade.

Put this on high heat until it boils and reduce to a simmer. Cook about twenty to thirty minutes until all the potatoes are soft and the stock is nice and thick. I normally leave the lid off for part of to make sure the soup is nice and thick but leave it off too long and you'll end up w/ overcooked mashed potatoes. Add about a cup of milk. You can use cream too but I don't think that adds much too this already very rich soup.

Add salt and pepper to taste and there you have it, bacon potato soup. There are endless variations on this, I kept it simple for the sake of this recipes. Try substituting some other root vegetables in for the potatoes. Parsley root is an especially good one and adds a real nice spicy flavor. Beets give it a wonderful purple color. Let us know how your experiments turn out in the comments section.

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