When I’m thinking about country kitchen I’m imagining good crusty bread, creamy butter, fatty milk, baskets with potatoes and onions, bunches of garlic, and… bacon. Not that bacon we use in BLT sandwich, but the bacon as fat, lardon.
Our grand-grand-mothers used to cook with this fat. My loving grandma did. They cooked potato, vegetables, peas, lentil, eggs, and soups with small cubes of fat. It was nutritious and… healthy. Yes, healthy: we need some fat for hard work and being energetic, to stay warm in cold weather, to look healthy and to absorb vitamins important for our wellbeing. Good quality organic pork fat (of course, there was only organic food at that time) was a staple ingredient in many cuisines.
So, when I made a simple vegetarian country potato soup, I realized that some bacon would be a ‘must’ in this recipe. I don’t need to proof that adding bacon changed my soup from ‘good’ to ‘better’ – everything is better with bacon, you know…
I had a good chunk of ‘hunters bacon’ with lower fat content from a Polish deli in my fridge. And small fried pieces of that meat added to a bowl of already delicious potato soup made my day. It was a simple pleasure.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté them for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 30-45 seconds.
Add the potatoes, leek, celery, spices, and the stock; bring to a boil on a high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add frozen vegetables, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the dill, turn off the heat and let the soup stand, covered.
Meanwhile, in a pan, cook the bacon pieces on a medium heat. If the bacon is fatty, transfer the pieces to a paper towel-lined plate.
Pour the soup in a soup bowl, top with the bacon bits.
For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon.
Add some milk or cream to a bowl of this country potato soup (without bacon).
Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!