St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Of course I start saying that around August as it’s one of my 2 favorite “sort of” holidays of the year. I am giving you this recipe so that you have plenty of time to try it and have it ready for the big day. I am not sure why I associate this soup with Irish celebrations except for that my favorite Irish pub in Lansing served this soup. It’s so simple yet satisfying. I slurp up the whole pot when I make it. I love a good savory salty broth and this is one.
I made this soup for lunch today. I imagine it would be even better if using homemade stock, but I have none in the freezer right now. Cans of Swanson low sodium did just fine. You want the low sodium as you want to add plenty of seasoned salt. The pub uses Lawry’s but I use Penzeys.
I am still working out the best use of lighting in our new house with our camera. One thing I do know is that you shouldn’t attempt photos of something while it is hot and steaming. Our Nikon D90 picks up all of that steam. It might help if I actually were to read the booklet it came with one day. While waiting for the soup to cool, my cheese sunk and melted, which is what you want for eating. So I dredged a spoonful up for you to see:
Ingredients (makes 2 large soup bowl’s worth):
1/4 lb Bacon (6 slices?)
1 large or 2 smaller russet potatoes (prob 8 0z or so)
1/2 medium onion
4 cups chicken broth – low sodium or homemade
4 dashes of hot sauce – I used Crystal, but Franks or any would do as long as you use some.
3 shakes of seasoned salt (Lawry’s or Penzeys are recommended for the flavor profile)
2 green onions – just use the green stalks, finely sliced or use chives
shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
Step one. Chop the bacon and saute it in the pot you plan to make the soup in. I typically chop up a half a package of bacon at a time and freeze the bacon bits for things like pizza or other soups. That said, we have a lot of bacon around our house as we have our pigs raised nearby and butcher the entire pig, giving us about 30 pounds of bacon.
Step two. While bacon is frying, dice 1/2 an onion and 1 large or 2 small russet potatoes (of course any will do but I like our russets from the farm here).
Step three. Remove the crisped bacon and drain on a paper towel. Pour almost all of the bacon grease into your bacon grease jar that you store in the fridge – why would you ever throw one drop of this decadent smokey salty fat away? It’s great to put a spoonful in your pinto beans.
Step four. Briefly saute the onion and potato.
Step five. Add 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth or stock. Scrape up all those little browned bacon tasties, they make the broth delicious.
Step six. Shake a healthy amount of hot sauce into the stock and a couple of good dashes of seasoned salt in too.
Step seven. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are cooked and broth reduces a bit.
Step eight. Slice up some green onion green tips for garnish while potatoes are cooking.
Step nine. The moment you have waited for. Assemble the soup. Pour as much soup as you want into a bowl. Place a good amount of shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese in bowl, top with a couple good sized pinches of the chopped crisped bacon and finally sprinkle those lovely green onion tips on top for a splash of crunch and color.
Nine steps but really it takes only 15 minutes.
Sigh deeply and slurp.