I have bought a lot of turkey bacon recently. It’s only $1.50 a packet versus the nearly $7 you could spend on the real stuff. But I finally came to realize why there is such a price different. Real bacon — porky, fatty, thick-cut bacon — is a luxury item.
There is no wrong that bacon can do. It sizzles perfectly. The greasy, delicious smell is enough to make me weak in the knees. And when it’s done cooking, while the bacon drains on a paper towel and I burn my fingers snagging a bite, the fat left behind is just begging to be used.
So I granted its wish and I put that bacon grease to good use: I made baked potato soup. And even as I write this, with dinner time several hours away, I know there is a creamy bowl of this wonderfulness waiting for me.
I don’t care about my waistline!
Not when there is baked potato soup.
All you have to do is let the bacon grease infuse its flavor into every bite, sip and swallow of that soup. It wants to do this for you. The last thing the bacon grease wants to become is a forgotten mess in some empty tin can that you toss out at the end of the week.
“USE ME!” it cries.
I can’t resist. I have such a soft heart for anything bacon.
Recipe for baked potato soup
- 5 strips of thick cut PORK bacon
- 1 cup of onion, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 cup of milk
- 3 tablespoons chives, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
Cook the bacon a large dutch oven until crispy. Set the bacon aside to cool. Leave the bacon grease in the bottom of the pan. Add the onion, cooking for about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, bay leaves and salt. Continue to cook for three more minutes. THIS IS WHEN IT SMELLS REALLY GOOD.
Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Editors note: If you want, you can bake the potatoes for about an hour in a 450 degree oven. When they’re done, mash them slightly and add to the mixture when you add the broth. I added raw potato cubes.
Let the soup cook down for about 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to mash about half of the contents. You still want some chunky potato bits.
Add the milk, cheese, chives and crumble the bacon strips into the mixture. Stir and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
Serve with shredded cheese on top.