This is not what you'd call a healthy soup. I mean, you could cut out the bacon, use light sour cream or take it out entirely, and use the cheese only for garnish, if at all. But it just wouldn't be the same soup that way. Not at all. Besides, the aroma of the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno cooking in the reserved bacon grease was something so magical and delicious, it made me forget all about the calories I would be consuming. I couldn't help anticipating how good this soup was going to be. And after that, there really was no going back.
Southwest Potato Soup
(adapted from TDF Recipes)
4 potatoes, cubed
4-5 slices bacon, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
1/3 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 can evaporated milk, plus enough milk to equal 2 cups
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup cilantro
1) In a medium pot, boil potatoes until fork tender, drain and set aside.
2) Meanwhile, in a large pot, brown bacon until crispy. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and reserve drippings in the pot.
3) In the same pot over medium heat cook onion, garlic, jalapeno, and bell pepper in the pot until soft. Add flour, and stir, cooking for a minute.
4) Using a whisk, add chicken broth slowly until smooth. Using a measuring cup pour evaporated milk and enough milk to equal 2 cups. Add milks to the pot and incorporate.
5) Take half of cooked potatoes and mash with a spoon. Add both smashed potatoes and remaining cubed potatoes to the soup. Cook and stir the soup until a creamy, thick consistency.
6) Turn off heat and add sour cream, cheese, and cilantro, stirring until well combined. Enjoy!