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Smoky Potato Soup with Bacon Croutons

  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4

This ultrasmooth potato soup gets a smoky kick from bacon puree, a homemade riff on the Italian pork-fat delicacy lardo.

  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  3. 1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3 inch thick
  4. 6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  5. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  6. Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  7. 4 ounces fatty slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  8. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  9. Eight 1/3-inch-thick baguette slices
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan, add the cream and season with salt and white pepper; keep hot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cover the bacon with 1/2 inch of water. Simmer over low heat until very tender, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a mini food processor. Add the garlic and puree until smooth.
  3. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and spread with half of the bacon puree. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Ladle the soup into bowls and stir 1 generous tablespoon of bacon puree into each bowl. Serve at once with the croutons.
Make Ahead The soup and bacon puree can be refrigerated separately overnight.

Suggested Pairing

This smoky soup pairs well with a rich, nicely acidic white like a Pinot Gris, the signature white grape of Oregon's Willamette Valley.

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