Potato Bacon Soup

Jim took charge of this dish. His spotty memory recently produced two new soups, not previously identified on our To Do list: Potato Bacon and Mushroom Barley. 

Servings: 6

8 oz. bacon, uncooked
2 oz. butter
1/2 small onion
2 celery stalks
4 large russet potatoes
1 qt. Chicken Stock
1 cup milk

4 oz. (8 Tbsp.) flour
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke

Prepare vegetables
Finely chop the onion and celery with a knife or in a food processor, set aside. Peel potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Set potatoes aside in a large bowl with water to prevent potatoes from browning.

Sauté vegetables
In a large stock pot, melt the better and add 2 oz. of the retained bacon fat. Add onions and celery and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender.

Make roux
Add the flour to the vegetables and stir. Cook the flour for 3 to 5 minutes.

Simmer soup 
And chicken stock to the vegetables and stir over high heat until thickened. Strain the potatoes and add to thickened stock. Reduce heat to a simmer and crack the cover to let steam escape. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and soup is thickened. Add milk, pepper, and liquid smoke and stir to combine.

Transfer soup to bowls and serve soup warm with Croutons, if desired.

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