Absolutely Ultimate Potato Soup
1 pound bacon, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken stock, or enough to cover potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
3 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place bacon in a Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain bacon pieces on paper towels. Drain off all but 1/4 cup of the bacon grease.
Cook celery and onion in the reserved bacon drippings until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add cubed potatoes, and toss to coat. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Return bacon to the pan, and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a separate skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in heavy cream, tarragon, and cilantro. Bring cream mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add cream mixture to the potato mixture; stir to combine.
Transfer about 1/2 of the soup to a blender and puree. Return to the Dutch oven. Adjust seasonings to taste.
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