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Stacy's Potato Soup

Categories: Soups
Contributed by: stacyandted

Disclaimer: I like my soups kind of heavy and rich... hence the extra 20lbs I drag around...
Anyway, adjust this as you see fit. You really can't go wrong... I've played with the ingredients to make it 'my style'... but I'm sure it would be good with any ingredients you like!

Fry bacon. I usually do a whole package and freeze what I don't use. Depending on the size of the batch of soup I crumble and add anywhere from 2-6 slices of bacon.

Potatoes. Frankly, they taste better if they've been baked in the oven... but I rarely have the time or the patience to wait that long. I usually microwave them in saran wrap. I'd say I use about a 5lb bag of potatoes or maybe a little less. After they're fully cooked, slice them in half and puncture them to aid in cooling.

Take a couple tablespoons of the bacon grease (it's really for flavor only, so add as little as you want) and pour that into a pot along with a can of chicken broth. I usually use one can and then add some chicken bouillion cubes (dissolved in hot water before adding) if I need extra juice. I usually DO need extra juice, but I always add too little to start, it's easier than trying to subtract liquid from a too-thin soup.

To this mix add some chopped celery (maybe about 1/2 cup)
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
about 1c. green onions.... I use the onion AND the tops. Yum!
salt and pepper... I usually start with about 2 tsp salt and 1tsp pepper
2 cups milk approx.

Stir this mixture and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10-15 min.

After the base has simmered, start adding the potatoes. I just hold the half of the potato in my hand and scoop out the guts with a spoon directly into the pot. I DON'T add the peelings. I don't like the texture of microwaved potato peelings... AND I've found that peelings really change the flavor of the soup. If a few peelings get in there, no big deal. I like to leave the potato pieces kind of chunky, that way the texture is a bit thicker.

Toss in your crumbled bacon.

Once you've added the potatoes and bacon and heated the entire mixture, add a container (about 12oz.) of sour cream and a dash of whipping cream if you have it available. If not, no biggie... the sour cream will do!
Also add about a cup of sharp shredded cheddar cheese and heat the whole thing up to a nice simmer.

You can top the soup with more crumbled bacon, onions, or cheese.

For thinner soup, add more chicken broth. For creamier, add more milk or sour cream. The soup WILL thicken after it's cooled. I actually prefer day old potato soup for that reason. You can always thin it out with milk.

Also, it's hard to get the amount of salt and pepper just right without tasting it a million times. Sometimes what I do is individually salt and pepper the potato halves before I scoop them into the soup. That way I have a better idea of exactly how much salt/pepper might be reasonable.

Enjoy! This is a Christmas eve staple in our family (along with oyster stew which makes me want to hurl!)