On cold weather days, Mom sometimes made a simple potato soup. It was such a nice comfort and really hit the spot. She liked good flavor and a rich taste in hers, so she used things like cheese, heavy cream, sour cream and bacon. Really makes it taste more like a full meal, not just a first course, and we certainly ate it that way. And its very satisfying. You can also use turkey bacon. Also, don't skimp on the cream. At the very least, use half-and-half (we only used milk when we had absolutely no other choice, which you can do but it won't be as rich). The cream is what will really make this soup a food of the gods!
Mom's Potato Soup
6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
3 tablespoons butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 whole Carrots, diced
3 stalks Celery, Diced
6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
8 cups Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix (optional)
1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley
1 cup Grated Cheese (any kind you like)
Sour cream for garnish
1. Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp. There should be plenty of bacon fat in the bottom of the pan to work with. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour out half of the fat, but not all, and do not clean the pot.
2. Return the pot to medium heat and melt in the butter. Then add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook until the onions begin to turn clear. Then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice (optional).
3. Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup immediately and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes. Stir while you add the flour/milk mixture, and frequently while cooking, to prevent clumping.
4. Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in a blender/food process until completely smooth (or use a handheld masher). Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.
5. Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces. Add a spoon full of sour cream, if you like.