A Soul and Stomach Pleaser

Are you happy it is Spring?  I am thrilled, ecstatic, joyful!  This was a difficult winter, with the exception of our two week vacation on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai in February, but I will tell you all about that in coming blogs.

You might call it convenient that I love potatoes, knowing that my darling Hubby works with potato farmers, but they have been one of my favorite foods all my life.  Do you also recall that I have a fondness for homemade soup, from the broth on?  Given the slightest provocation I will combine the two for a wonderful, decadent potato soup.

Maybe it was finding our friends’ potatoes in the local grocery store (Basin Gold), maybe it was the bright green of the parsley and chives outside my kitchen window, maybe it was just my desire to make this dairy-free, creamy soup – but I had to make it for a gathering of friends. ( It was a large pot and we had no leftovers.)

As much as I have been a life-long potato consumer, I am a very recent convert to bacon.  I believe I have told you about it in other blogs, but I will tell you again: Hills Bacon is a relatively clean bacon. There is no MSG, which is very important to me.  It smells and tastes better than any other bacon I have been exposed to.

Usually potato soup recipes call for leeks, but the humble yellow onion, or Walla Walla Sweets when they are fresh, are perfectly acceptable here as well.  When the leeks look best, they are my go to, shallots have also gone into the pot.  It is the fresh garlic, that I enjoy with the potatoes and bacon the most though.

Intrigued?  Here is my recipe:

Decadent Potato Soup

  • 20 ounces high quality bacon
  • 2 T. bacon fat
  • 2 T. chopped garlic
  • 2 cups onions, chopped small
  • 2 cups chopped celery stalks and leaves
  • 3 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 6 c. broth, homemade if you can
  • 8 medium/large yellow potatoes (I used about ten pounds of potatoes for this pot)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • salt and pepper to taste when serving

Directions:

  • Cook the bacon.  I lay strips on a wire rack in a cookie pan to bake them; put the pan in the oven to preheat to 350*F, cook until as crispy as you like them.  They should be pretty crisp for this soup.
  • Chop onions and celery
  • Mince garlic
  • Remove a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat to a thick bottomed stock pot for the onions, celery and garlic.
  • Once softened, pour the broth into the pot.  Chop the potatoes into 1/2″ cubes leaving the skin on them, boil in the broth with the other vegetables and the bay leaves.
  • When the potatoes are soft add the thyme and celery seed to the pot and remove the bay leaves.
  • Use an immersion blender, or do batches in a regular blender, to puree the chunks of potatoes as much as you would like.  I like to leave some cubes of potato in mine.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces, chop the fresh parsley fine and add this to the now creamy, hot soup.  Give it a good stir to incorporate the bits.
  • Chop the fresh chives into small pieces, reserve for serving along with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  • If you wish, you can add a dollop of sour cream to the bowl and swirl it for contrast before sprinkling the chives on top.
Potato soup with crispy bacon and fresh chives.
A hot bowl of potato soup with fresh chives on top and crispy bacon in it is a delightful comfort food.

I drank a Merlot with my soup this last time, but have enjoyed smooth whites like a Chardonnay or Semillon and other reds when we have had it other times.  Cheers!