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 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, 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 dried tarragon
3 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
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.