A wonderfully warming winter soup – almost a meal in itself.
Remove the rind from the bacon and keep aside. Chop the smoked bacon and onions very finely. Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan, add the bacon and cook for a few minutes, then add the onions; cover and sweat on a gentle heat until soft but not coloured. Add the stock and leave to simmer while you prepare the potatoes. Add the bacon rind to the stock. Peel the potatoes and chop very finely, add to the saucepan and stir until it becomes quite thick and sticky. Season with freshly ground pepper and a little salt (watch the salt because of the bacon). Keep on stirring and add the milk slowly. Boil until the potatoes are soft – they will disintegrate into a purée. Remove the bacon rind, add the chopped parsley, taste and serve. Add a little more chicken stock or milk if the soup is too thick.
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.