Craving this soup while sick with a cold and only having myself to make it was a conundrum and a half. Should I get off the couch and make it for supper after dreaming about it or just have a tomato sandwich and a nap, leaving the family to fend for themselves later on?
The craving won.
This soup was published on my site before, but thanks to The Great Website Crash of ’10, it is one of the posts that I was never able to recover pictures for. I kept the recipe in my drafts – luckily because I have had many reader requests for it since the Crash- and just waited for the moment I could take a new picture and fix the post up.
So here’s my new, fixed up post for one of my favorite soups that I have ever whipped up. Salty, creamy, bacony awesomeness.
This is a heart attack in soup form and not in any form healthy. This is comfort food at it’s finest.
5 strips of bacon
1/3 cup of chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp of butter
4 tablespoons of flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 teaspoon of parsley
1/2 teaspoon of basil
4-5 cups of chicken broth made from bouillon
3 large russet potatoes cubed (about 4 cups after chopped)
1 cup of whole milk
1 cup of Tex Mex cheese (and more if you want to top the soup with it)
Sour cream- if you want to top the soup with it
Peel and chop up your Russet potatoes. Russets hold together well and the starch that comes out in the soup broth while cooking helps to make one amazing soup.
Use 4-5 cups of chicken broth, enough to cover the potatoes. I can’t stress enough that you can’t use the pre-made canned/carton kind, it is simply not strong enough to flavor anything. I’ve tried them, they are like water with a hint of something you can’t quite place.
You need a fairly strong-tasting salty chicken broth base to make this great. I found Knorr bouillon in a jar that you just add to the water and it dissolves SO much easier. LOVE IT. When making the boullion keep in mind you are adding salty bacon to the soup as well so err on the side of caution and don’t make it AS strong as you like it, make it a little less. You can always add more in once you taste the sodium that your bacon has added to the soup. Bacon’s vary so greatly that a super salty piece could send this soup over the brink of too-salty no return!
The soup took 3-4 hours on high, it will depend on your crock pot and the size of your taters.
To crisp your bacon,use the oven, place it on tinfoil on a baking sheet and cook at 375 degrees until crispy.
It comes out so wonderfully crumbly and crispy done slowly in the oven, best way to cook bacon. Let it cool, then break into small pieces. Save 2-3 tablespoons of the grease.
Pretend right now that bacon grease is ok for you and not one of the most evil substances out there. Because you are going to saute the onions and garlic in it until they are soft. Sorry arteries.Really, really sorry.I think I know a few good cardiac docs though.
Add the heart attack mixture of sautéed onions and garlic to the soup.
And because we don’t have enough bacon taste, add the bacon!
After 3-4 hours of cooking, you will see that the broth is slightly cloudy from the starch, the potatoes are soft and almost, but not quite, falling apart.
We want to make a roux. And I know that we need more butter than this, but seriously, I could not add more fat to this soup. So I only used three tablespoons. And I won’t lie, it makes it harder to make the roux, you have to go much slower with the milk you add, but you CAN do it. You want the flour but not the fat. Combine in a pot over low heat, stirring until the butter is melted and mixed with the flour. Little by little, stir in the milk making sure that you don’t get any lumps.
When you have that cup of milk added, you can add in the cup of cheese and melt it in.
Move your potatoes to the side.
Whisk in your milk/cheese sauce. Cook for another 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally so there isn’t a skin on the surface. This is also why we added the milk at the end, I didn’t want a curdled soup nor a disgusting skin on top.
Top with the Tex Mex cheese, extra parsley, extra bacon, you name it, it will work
When I placed it in the ramekins to get a nice picture, the thought occurred to me what a fantastic party food this is! Small bowls for your guests to help themselves from a steaming crock pot of soup, with perhaps some soft potato bread on the side. In fact, if I get around to issuing the invitations for the Christmas open house I think I want to have, this is on the menu.
Which means that I have to come up with a vegetarian option as well.
If and when you serve this, wait until right before guests arrive to stir in the milk and make sure that you stir it occasionally to prevent a gruesome skin on top. I think this would just be amazing!
Is everyone gearing up for Christmas yet? Shopping started or even done? I’m ahead of the game this year which means I am going to fall behind at any second, that’s just the way it goes for Christmas.