Creamy Potato SoupMonday, October 27, 2014
Potato soup is one of my favorite cold weather foods, but that did not used to be the case. Potato soup threatens to be bland much of the time, but with a few simple twists that my roommate showed me in college, my mind was forever changed. This is a hearty, stick to your ribs kinda meal. Creamy yet almost smokey. Just a tiny amount of heat to get the blood pumping. Intense flavor. This is definitely all of those things, and more. Also, trust me on this one: if you have never left the peels on when making potato soup, I highly encourage it. The peeling actually adds flavor to the soup as a whole, so try it just once.
- 1 12 oz package of bacon
- 1 diced onion
- 2 diced carrots
- 2 diced stalks of celery
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 russet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste (I find potatoes needs lots of salt)
- 2 links smoked sausage, cooked and diced
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup shredded cheese
Cook all the bacon until crispy, saving some of the fat for your soup base. I kept about a tablespoon or so. Once the bacon is done, set aside on plate.
With the bacon fat still hot in your soup pan, add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook over medium low heat until all are soft. Add your garlic an saute for 1 minute. Now, here is where it gets really interesting. In order to have a potato soup that bursts with flavor, I add 1/4 teaspoon (or less, if desired) cayenne pepper and the lemon juice and saute everything together for about a minute. Add potatoes a handful at a time, coating them in the mixture. Pour in chicken broth, adding salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until the potatoes crumble when pierced with a fork. This can take 45 min or so.
Now, you have two choice. You can put the soup in a blender, or use a potato masher. I prefer my soups to have some chunks, so I chose to use the masher. When most of the lumps are gone, add the sausage. Stir in well. Add your half and half 1 cup at a time, stirring well each time. Remove from heat, add your cheese, and top that sucker off with plenty of bacon crumbles! Don't be stingy!
P.S. I have been on a cooking kick lately. I hope you enjoy recipes and I promise not to flood the blog with them!