Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ultimate Potato Soup

This is the best potato soup I've ever eaten.  (thank-you No joke.  (If you're counting calories, this may not be for you.  But, you could still make it on a cheat day!) It has a great consistency and is filling and extremely flavorful!  Perfect for a cold evening, serve it up with some salad and/or bread! 

1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1-1/2 cloves garlic, minced
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed (think bite size pieces!)
2 c. chicken stock, or enough to cover potatoes
1-1/2 Tbl. melted butter
2 Tbl. flour
1/2 c. heavy cream 
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cook the bacon over medium heat until done.  Remove bacon from pan, and set aside.  Drain off all but 1/8 c. of the bacon grease. 
2.  In the bacon grease remaining in the pan, saute the celery and onion until onion begins to turn clear.  Add the galric, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the cubed potatoes, and toss to coat.  Saute for 3 to 4 minutes.  Return the chopped bacon to the pan and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes.  Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.
3.  In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cream, and melted butter.  Mix in the tarragon, and cilantro.  (I learned in Ecuador that if you soak the cilantro in water for a few minutes it helps release the flavor.  Then, just pull it out, shake off the water and chop on a cutting board) Pour mixture into the simmering potato mixture and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring constantly until thickened.  

4.  Puree about 1/2 the soup (this is crucial for correct consistency!) and return to pan.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  
5.  For some extra flair, garnish with cilantro leaves

* Makes about 4 servings

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