½ to 1 lb. of raw bacon, diced
1 cup of diced onions
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
2 to 3 large russet potatoes, diced
6 cups of water
3 tbsp of chicken base (I use the reduced sodium better than bullion)
1 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp of kosher salt, or to taste
¼ tsp of black pepper, or to taste
pinch of cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes; or to taste (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 tsp of freeze-dried parsley
cheese, sour cream and/or green onion for toppings (optional)
1)In a Dutch Oven of a stockpot, begin cooking the bacon. It will take a while as it cooks between medium-low to medium heat to avoid burning the fat being rendered (aka the grease). Once the bacon is cooked the way you like it, remove it and set it aside (just in case you decide to add more). Some of the rendered bacon fat may be set aside as well.
2)Turn up the heat just above medium and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and get everything coated with the bacon grease. At this point, you may turn up the heat again while stirring and cooking for about a minute. Then as you stir in the potatoes use your visual judgment to determine what looks right. At this point, you may season if you would like, but be cautious with the salt. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. Some color is good if possible.
3)Add water. Again, use your visual judgment. After bringing to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Stir in the chicken base. Combine the cornstarch with one tablespoon of water and then stir in as well. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.
4)Use a ladle and carefully set aside 3 to 4 cups of the soup. Then with an immersion blender, carefully blend the soup left in the pot. The soup will be hot and may splash. Gently, add the soup that was set aside back to the pot and stir.
5)Taste and season
6)Add the cream and parsley
7)Taste and season one last time, if necessary
8)Serve and garnish with desired toppings