Potato Bacon Soup - Total Comfort Food!

Potato Bacon Soup - Total Comfort Food!

I have many culinary inspirations and my friend Liv’s mom is absolutely one of them. During our college days, no matter when we would stop by her house, there would always be plenty of delicious homemade unprocessed food in it. There was always soup in Liv’s house. Always! And whenever I went to her house, her and her two siblings, all over 6 feet tall, were constantly eating. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them not eat. I always wondered how her mom managed to keep all of them fed with all those homemade meals!

Now, having two little kids of my own, more than ever I understand the reasoning behind soups. They make delicious, quick, easy, convenient, extremely affordable and nutritious meals that you can eat cold or quickly heat up. Everyone can have different schedules but dinner is just minutes away when you have some soup in the fridge. A note on nutrition, obviously some soups are more or less nutritious than others… Potato bacon soup is definitely one of the heavier soups I make, but it’s delicious, flavourful, easy to make and is very filling, so I feel it deserves a spot at our dinner table.

As most bloggers do, before posting a recipe I usually check 5-10 recipes posted online to see how my recipes compare to what’s out there. And I was a bit surprised. The top 10+ recipes all made a flour-cream slurry in a separate pot. I could not understand the reasoning behind it as it accomplished nothing you wouldn’t be able to accomplish in one pot (other than dirtying extra dishes.) The other thing with those recipes, bacon was simmered together with the potatoes. That would lead to chewy and soggy bacon that lost all of its crispiness. By removing the bacon after it’s cooked and only adding it at the end as garnish, we retain plenty of bacon flavour, while adding the crisp element to our soup.

Hope you give this delicious soup a try!

DifficultyBeginner

Yields6 Servings

 ½ lb bacon, chopped into 1/2" pieces (you can increase this to 1 lb if desired)
 1 yellow onion, chopped
 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped (optional)
 2 celery stalks, chopped
 3 tbsp flour
 5-6 medium Russet potatoes, chopped
 4 cups chicken stock
 1 bay leaf
 ¼ cup whipping cream or half and half
 kosher salt, to taste
 black pepper, to taste
 Garnishes of choice: shredded cheese, corn, dill, parsley, chives, green onions, etc.

1

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottom stock pot over medium-high heat until crisp, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels. Drain some of the bacon fat, if desired, but be sure to leave at least 3-4 TBSP of bacon fat in the pot for cooking vegetables.

2

Add onions, carrot and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Be sure to scrape up the brown bits (delicious fond left from cooking the bacon) stuck to the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle flour over the veggies and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly, to cook off the raw flour taste. Very slowly pour in the chicken stock. At first pour only about a third of the stock while stirring it into a creamy sauce and working out any of the lumps, then gently pour in the rest, stirring. Add potatoes and the bay leaf. The stock should just barely cover the potatoes, if it doesn't, add a bit more stock or water. Bring the soup to simmer over high heat, gently season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are completely tender.

3

Taste the soup and season with more salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in half and half (or cream.) If desired, roughly mash the soup with a whisk - this will add some creaminess to the soup while ensuring there are still plenty of potato chunks left. You can also puree a portion of the soup (maybe 25%) in a blender, but be careful, as sometimes that may make potato-based soups gummy. Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved crisp bacon, cheese, chives or whatever other garnishes you prefer.

NOTE:
4

If the soup is too thick - add a bit more stock or water to thin it out.

Only use Russet potatoes in this soup. Other types of potatoes are waxy and will result in a gummy texture.

Ingredients

 ½ lb bacon, chopped into 1/2" pieces (you can increase this to 1 lb if desired)
 1 yellow onion, chopped
 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped (optional)
 2 celery stalks, chopped
 3 tbsp flour
 5-6 medium Russet potatoes, chopped
 4 cups chicken stock
 1 bay leaf
 ¼ cup whipping cream or half and half
 kosher salt, to taste
 black pepper, to taste
 Garnishes of choice: shredded cheese, corn, dill, parsley, chives, green onions, etc.

Directions

1

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottom stock pot over medium-high heat until crisp, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels. Drain some of the bacon fat, if desired, but be sure to leave at least 3-4 TBSP of bacon fat in the pot for cooking vegetables.

2

Add onions, carrot and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Be sure to scrape up the brown bits (delicious fond left from cooking the bacon) stuck to the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle flour over the veggies and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly, to cook off the raw flour taste. Very slowly pour in the chicken stock. At first pour only about a third of the stock while stirring it into a creamy sauce and working out any of the lumps, then gently pour in the rest, stirring. Add potatoes and the bay leaf. The stock should just barely cover the potatoes, if it doesn't, add a bit more stock or water. Bring the soup to simmer over high heat, gently season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are completely tender.

3

Taste the soup and season with more salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in half and half (or cream.) If desired, roughly mash the soup with a whisk - this will add some creaminess to the soup while ensuring there are still plenty of potato chunks left. You can also puree a portion of the soup (maybe 25%) in a blender, but be careful, as sometimes that may make potato-based soups gummy. Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved crisp bacon, cheese, chives or whatever other garnishes you prefer.

NOTE:
4

If the soup is too thick - add a bit more stock or water to thin it out.

Only use Russet potatoes in this soup. Other types of potatoes are waxy and will result in a gummy texture.

Potato Bacon Soup

Make it Gluten-Free: replace flour with good-quality all purpose gluten free flour, ensure all your ingredients are gluten free, including chicken stock and bacon.

Make it Dairy-Free: skip milk or cream and add more stock as needed. Do not add cheese.

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