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February 4, 2011 / littlefooteslab

Happy Birthday to Littlefoote’s Lab Blog! and Everyone’s Favorite Potato Soup with Bacon Recipe

Oh my gosh you guys! I totally got distracted and missed the big day. 2/2/11 was the one year mark for this blog! Hooray! Let’s party! WooHoo!!!

It seems like today would be a good day to do a post highlighting events of the last year. But, I’m going to wait. soon though. I think it will be fun. So many great things happened this last year. (also some very sad things) ( I guess I have to take the good with the bad)

Anyway, last night I made the most wonderful, simple, delicious potato soup. Soooooo yummy! I used potatoes from my garden (stored in my basement, they are nearing the end of their shelf life – but still great for soup)

From “Weeknight Kitchen with Lynne Rossetto Kasper”



Reprinted with permission from Dollars To Donuts: Comfort Food and Kitchen Wisdom from Route 66’s Landmark Rock Café by Dawn Welch (Rodale, Inc., 2009). Copyright © 2009 by Channeling Media LLC.

Serves 6

When I first started at the Rock, money was tight, and I had to find ways to make use of absolutely everything in the kitchen. One thing that made me crazy was the sorry sight of a pile of baked potatoes that didn’t get sold during dinner service (I’d never sell them the next day; they were too soggy and soft). Then, one day, a light bulb went off — why not turn them into potato soup? My potato soup became such a hit that I had to start boiling up extra potatoes to augment whatever I had left from the night before. It’s still one of the most popular items at the Café.

  • 4 thick-cut bacon slices
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 9 (about 3 pounds) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups whole or low-fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely chopped chives, for serving (optional)

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the bacon in the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the onion, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the pan and cook until the onion is soft and the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Crumble the bacon back into the skillet, turn off the heat, and set aside.

2. Bring the potatoes to a boil in a large pot with 4 cups of water and 1-½ teaspoons of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until they’re tender and just starting to break apart, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a potato masher or wooden spoon, smash the potatoes in the pot with the water until they’re mostly broken up (you want to keep some chunky potato bits).

3. Heat the milk in a small saucepan or the microwave until hot, and then add to the potatoes. Stir in the bacon and onion mixture, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Return to the stove, and continue to simmer until the soup is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chives, if using, and serve hot.


Think of this recipe as a base for seasonings and add-ins that appeal to you: a bit of fresh dill and/or small shrimp, some curry powder sautéed in, canned corn or fresh kernels cut from the cob in season, or sautéed leeks for a riff on the classic vichyssoise.

Littlefoote’s Lab’s Tips:

I used 2% lactose free milk and found it to be a good option. Also, I swapped out the onion for a bunch of sliced leeks. I let them caramelize in the bacon drippings, then added it to the potatoes just as directed above. This soup is simple and light (for a cream based soup) and a great dinner on a cold winter night.

I have an email newsletter subscription to The Weeknight Kitchen. It’s a great weekly meal idea, I’ve tried many of the  recipes and find them to be reliably tasty and easy. Get you own subscription => Weeknight Kitchen Newsletter



Leave a Comment
  1. moma / Feb 4 2011 4:30 pm

    Looks yummy! Happy birthday, Littlefoote’s Lab!

  2. Rebecca / Feb 6 2011 9:07 pm

    Yeah for birthdays! The soup sounds delicious.

  3. Rebecca / Feb 7 2011 8:24 pm

    Two recipes in a row? You’re speakin’ my language! Happy birthday to the blog, and great hair cut to the gal. Hope to see you soon!

  4. Dan / Feb 10 2011 7:42 am

    MMM tater soup :)

  5. Casey / Apr 25 2011 8:38 pm

    Yum! Erin and I tried this over the weekend. It was really good!

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