Potato Soup with a Kick

I picked up a copy of The Homesick Texan’s Family Table at the library the other day. Just reading the names of the recipes was making me hungry! It’s includes sections for breakfast, starters and snacks, salads and sides, chilis, soups and stews, main dishes, sweets and accompaniments (stuff like salsas and pickles).  Her Buttermilk Potato Soup with Bacon and Jalapeno caught my eye. It’s been cold and rainy here and a potato soup with a kick sounded like it would hit the spot.  I didn’t have any buttermilk so used the powdered buttermilk I keep around for “emergencies” like that. It’s fine for baking and I think the real thing would be better in this soup but the soup came out great regardless. She also called for peeled Russet potatoes but I used red because that’s what I had and I left the peels on. I used a grated Mexican cheese mix rather than plain Jack cheese and added sliced green onions.

The soup is thick. You could easily add more broth. I also think it would be good if you blended only half of it and left half the potatoes in big chunks. If you’ve got spice sensitive eaters, I think I’d leave the jalapenos out of the soup and serve them separately.

Potato Soup with Bacon and Jalapenos

  • 2 jalapenos, roasted, seeded and diced
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
  • pinch of ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream (optional)
  • grated Jack or Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • green onions, sliced (optional)

Put the jalapenos under the broiler for about 5 minutes per side, then let cool, split them lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, then dice.

Saute the bacon in your soup pot until crispy, stirring over medium heat. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel. Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of the grease.

Saute the celery and onion over low heat until soft, stirring periodically (8-10 minutes). Stir in the chopped garlic and cook a minute, then add 4 cups of broth, potatoes, cumin and cayenne. Turn the heat up and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook about 30 minutes, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, stirring now and then.

If you're using an immersion blender, blend the soup in the pot. If you're using a blender or food processor, let the soup cool ten minutes or so before blending and do it in batches.

Return the soup to low heat and stir in the bacon, jalapenos, cilantro, buttermilk and half and half. Add more broth, water, buttermilk or half and half if you want a thinner soup. Heat the soup over low heat for about 10 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with sour cream, grated cheese and green onions.

 

buttermilk potato soup with bacon and jalapenos

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