Thursday, June 13, 2013
Potato soup. Pretty simple in context, yet difficult to achieve the desired results. I've loved potato soup since I was in college, and I worked at a sandwich shop where I was introduced to the stuff. That recipe was probably pure cream, butter, and lots of flour. But man, oh man, was it good! These days, the overwhelming feeling of guilt at eating something that indulgent on a regular basis is too much for me. This version of potato soup is a lot healthier, but it never feels like I'm sacrificing flavor. There's bacon in mine, so it's still a little bit indulgent!
I make mine with homemade chicken broth, which helps control not only the sodium of the soup, but the amount of preservatives in it. I also use just a little flour, fat free milk, and a judicious amount of half-n-half. You know, in place of the cream. I like to use my immersion hand blender to puree the soup just a tad, because I like some chunks of veggies (especially potatoes) in my potato soup. Some people like to puree theirs all the way, and that's fine too. Either way, this is a hearty, tasty, and satisfying soup. And it's not too heavy to make in the summer. Because I'm one of those weirdos that still likes hot soup when it's 90º out :)
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
6 whole potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup half-n-half
1 tbsp parsley, minced
1. In a large stockpot, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Reserve 1 tbsp bacon fat in the bottom of the pan.
2. Add onion, carrots, and celery to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add potatoes to the pan, cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Add chicken broth to the pot. Bring it to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are starting to get tender (about 10 minutes). Whisk together flour and milk, pour into the soup and let cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Take an immersion blender to the soup. Blend until the soup is smoother, but there are still chunks of potato left. Stir in the half-n-half, parsley, and bacon. Remove from heat, and serve immediately.
*Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman*