Good morning everyone! It’s time for another soup recipe!!!
My husband’s favourite meal is potato bacon soup. He sometimes jokes that a condition of our continued marriage is that I produce a potato bacon soup that is on the same level as his mother’s. I can’t blame him either because her potato bacon soup is the bomb-diggity. But prior to meeting him, I had never actually attempted to make potato bacon soup (and embarrassingly, I had never tried it either.) So I did a crash course on potato bacon soup with my mother in law…a couple times. Much like me, she doesn’t measure anything and just does the whole, “eyeball and taste test” throughout the entire process. Which is a way more delicious way of cooking, but much more difficult way to teach others. Now with this blog, I’ve had to attempt to start measuring things for the sake of sharing my recipes, but know this: when I cook at home without diarizing the whole process, I actually have no idea what my ratios are (with the exception of baked goods and desserts such as my pumpkin cheesecake mousse).
I’ve finally hit a point in my potato bacon soup culinary skills where I feel confident to share my recipe and process. Thank you to Maggie who was a very patient teacher and mentor with this soup. I’m sharing this recipe today for both a “unhealthy”, carb-loaded soup, as well as a keto-friendly alternative if you’re off potatoes like me (boo!). I’ll be doing this recipe in my normal way of cooking, but I think the pictures will help in lieu of measurements.
First things first. Here’s the list of ingredients and tools you’ll need:
- KETO ALTERNATIVE: Cauliflower
- Bacon (I like the thick-sliced the best!)
- Heavy Cream
- Salt & Pepper
- OPTIONAL: Dill (this is something I add to my soup from time to time)
- OPTIONAL: Roux/Cheese for thickening
- One large pot
- One frying pan
- Spoon for stirring
- Slotted spoon
Let’s get started: Place a large pot on your stove and put a “good amount” of butter on the bottom, and turn on the stove to Medium – Medium High. Chop one onion (I like chopping mine in smaller pieces, whereas my mother-in-law often goes with larger chops), and place in the pot with the melting butter. Add some salt and pepper. Saute your onions until they’re translucent and beginning to caramelize (a fancy word for browning).
While your onions saute, go ahead and start chopping your potatoes. I use five to six “good sized” potatoes in my soup. Add the potatoes to the sauted onions and start browning the potatoes in the pot. DO NOT ADD LIQUID YET!! It’s important to brown the potatoes for extra flavour!
Keto alternative: Chop half a cauliflower head into smaller florets while the onion cooks. Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and start sauteing them with your onions.
Once browned, you may now add chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water (I leave this decision entirely up to you). If you are adding water, ensure you add a package of chicken bouillon later. Add only enough broth to only cover your potatoes/cauliflower. I only add enough to slightly cover the potatoes/cauliflower, while there are still bits sticking out of the top of the liquid. Allow your soup to begin simmering
While the soup simmers, chop your other vegetables (carrots and celery) and set aside. Additionally, you will need to cut up the bacon into smaller pieces. Begin frying your bacon in a separate pan – it’s important to keep it separate so your soup doesn’t get too overpowered by the bacon grease! I once tried frying my bacon in the same pot while I was sauteing my onions and the soup didn’t taste right at the end.
Once your potatoes/cauliflower are softened, turn your stove down because you’ll be adding milk as well as some heavy cream.
Keto alternative: Don’t add the milk – only add heavy cream. I messed up because I was rushing to feed the family and ended up adding milk. While I’m not keto (I’m only following a lower carb diet), I want to ensure people who are following a keto diet don’t get duped by this recipe! This isn’t the end of the world, but technically the keto diet does NOT include milk (only heavy cream).
Once the milk and cream have been added and your soup is simmering on low, you may now add your other veggies. If you are going the keto route, go easy on the carrots, as they’re a higher carb count (if you’ve already hit your carb limit for the day, don’t add the carrots!) Let this soup begin to thicken as it simmers and you periodically stir it. The potato starch will help to thicken it (as well as the heavy cream) while you stir it. If you find it’s not thickening, you may add roux (fancy word for flour and butter), or cheese if you’re going the keto route. I added some parmesan cheese to my cauliflower bacon soup to help it thicken. NOTE: If you’re adding cheese, keep stirring and don’t stop – cheese can start to congeal if you leave it alone in soup (this happened to me while I was making the soup because, well, kids).
Give your soup some time to simmer and thicken, AT LEAST 20-30 minutes for good flavouring, then you may add your bacon. I spoon the bacon in with a slotted spoon to scoop the bacon into the soup, so you don’t transfer too much of the bacon grease into the soup. There really is enough bacon grease already coated on your bacon, trust me on this.
Once your bacon is added, you may let it simmer some more if you want more flavouring, or, if you’re like my impatient family, you may now serve up at this point.