Creamy Potato Soup

Potato soup is one of my favorites and we cook up several different kinds. On a really cold winter day this deliciously creamy one with bacon is about as good as it gets! We still had several varieties of potatoes left from the fall harvest so I used our Purple Viking potatoes (a red and purple skinned variety). But you can use any variety of potato you like.

Creamy Potato Soup

1 pound bacon, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken stock (or enough to cover potatoes)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon tarragon, dried
3 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot (or 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.

Cook celery and onion in reserved bacon drippings until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add cubed potatoes, and toss to coat. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Return bacon to the pan and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

To make the roux, in a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in 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. Adjust seasonings to taste.