Monday, November 8, 2010

Absolutely Ultimate Potato Soup

This weekend, I mostly stayed home trying to kick a really annoying cold. I slept, I moped, and in between I'd crave some really tasty soup. Then something amazing happened. Something that I thought only happened to other girls, the lucky ones with perfect hair and cute sneezes. A beautiful man red Le Creuset dutch oven got down on one knee and asked me if we could be together forever. A few happy tears slid down my cheeks, but of course I said yes--I've had my eye on a Le Creuset dutch oven for forever. They're so pretty, and they cook up some serious magic. I finally decided to make the investment, and while I've only cooked one thing so far, the potato soup I made this weekend made it all worth it. (Although I've had my eye on this recipe for a looong time and can't wait to make it!)

It all started with some good-sized potatoes.

And a mix of tarragon, cilantro, and celery. I've never had tarragon before, I don't like celery, and cilantro in a potato soup sounded odd to me, but in the end everything just came together perfectly.

Now, this recipe is not for the faint of heart, so look away for a second if you're squeamish... (!)

...because a whole lotta bacon lovin' was going on here. But in the bacon's defense, a whole lotta soup was being made.

In the end, this soup was such a satisfying, hearty dish that definitely makes staying home with a cold not quite so bad.

Absolutely Ultimate Potato Soup
Adapted, just a bit, from Karena's recipe here

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 pound bacon, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
6-7 large russet potatoes, cubed (The original recipe calls for peeled potatoes, but I left the skins on because I like the texture and the way it makes the soup look so cozy and rustic. But mostly I left them on because I was lazy.)
4 cups chicken stock, or enough to cover potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
3 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until done. Remove bacon from pan, and set aside. Drain off all but 1/4 cup of the bacon grease.

In the bacon grease remaining in the pan, saute the celery and onion until onion begins to turn clear. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes, and toss to coat. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan, and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer (about 25-30 minutes) until potatoes are tender.

In a separate pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, tarragon and cilantro. Bring the cream mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir the cream mixture into the potato mixture. Puree about 1/2 the soup (I just used a potato masher because I'm old-fashioned like that), and return to the pan. Adjust seasonings to taste.

I also added a bit of milk at the end since the consistency was a bit too thick. Then I garnished with parmesan because everything tastes better with it, and some fresh chopped chives. (Chives + Potatoes = So Good)


A Plum By Any Other Name said...

Such a great purchase. I'm so happy for the two of you; may you live a long wonderful life together, with many bowls of fabulous potato soup in your future.

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

we are SO going to try this next weekend!! Thanks for sharing!
And le creuset are the best, great investment!

lyndsey | paper girl said...

thanks for the comment! i just hopped over to spy on your blog & i love it -- i'm adding you to my google reader! blog world is so great. keep in touch! :)

lyndsey | paper girl said...

p.s. this soup looks delish. perfect since it's SNOWING at my house :(

Breenuh said...

The photo at the end is way too perfect to be a home meal! Nice job. And feel better soon!

Sobrina Tung said...

Thanks! I hope I get better soon too -- my best friend just told me I sound like a man :( haha

Kaylie Rose said...

best time of year for soup and this one is going on my list! Thanks!!

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