lots of potatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks of celery, halved + diced
thick slices of smoked bacon, chopped
2 cans of chicken (or vegetable) broth
half + half cream
jalapeno monterey jack, grated
salt + pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil
crusty bread, to serve
Once you have all your ingredients prepared, start by heating a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon in, and cook till the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside for use later as a topping. Discard most of the fat rendered from the bacon, leaving only enough for sauteing the vegetables. Add the onions in first and saute till almost translucent, then add in the celery. Next, add in the potatoes and continue to stir, allowing it to cook for another few minutes.
Now, add in your broth and bring it to a boil. Place the lid on the pot, and reduce the heat to low-medium and allow it to cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Remove 1/3 of the broth and blend till smooth, then return it to the pot. Next, add in the cream (as much as you like to the consistency you desire) and if you messed up with the consistency, don’t worry! All you need to do is add more broth, and if you ran out, just simply add some water. If you find that the potatoes are on the low side (like I did), just add in some more potatoes to make the soup more chunky, and let it cook some more. A lot of the flavour will come from the rendered bacon fat, so taste and add as much salt as desired, and grind in some fresh black peppercorn.
To serve, ladle some of the soup into a bowl and top it with grated cheese, crispy bacon, chopped scallion, and a drizzle of evoo. Cut a couple slices of a crusty bread of your choice for dipping into the soup, or you could cut the bread into crouton size, toast it, and add it into the soup.