Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan, and add the potatoes and onions. Cover and sweat them over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes without letting them brown, add half the milk and stock, the garlic, herbs and seasoning, and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are soft. Rub through a sieve or blend the mixture, having removed the herbs first.
Return the soup to the saucepan, add the rest of the liquid, bring to the boil, add more seasoning if necessary, and serve in hot soup bowls with the cream and crumbled bacon for garnish. For a vegetarian version, use the appropriate stock, and garnish with grilled or fried smoked tofu or toasted seeds.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.