This soup is soooo close to being so good for you that I would name it “Perfect Spa Soup” or some nonsense like that, except that it has bacon. Also: cream. Except, I didn’t use cream this time, I used 1% milk and a little light sour cream because that’s what I had. All those years of reading my mother’s Cooking Light while she was cooking dinner certainly paid off!
But really, this was a favorite soup when I was a teenager. The pureeing and the cream is what makes this a bisque, otherwise it would be regular soup. When you eat it you think, this is pureed, which is fancy, this soup must be a lot of work. But it isn’t at all, if you have an immersion blender like I do. If you don’t have a hand-held mixer that includes an immersion blender attachment as well as a tiny food processor attachment, you should probably just pull the trigger and buy one. They are lovely for pureeing soups, making whipped cream and meringue, and also: chocolate malts!
Mainly I like this soup because it has a lot of vegetables, which I can feel good about, but also comes together in about 45 minutes. Not fancy, not ornate, just an easy and delicious thing to make for dinner on a weeknight.
3-5 strips of bacon (Cut into little pieces with kitchen shears, is my advice. I keep kitchen shears for cutting food, when it applies. Though I have, to date, only ever used them for cutting bacon. I am taking suggestions for other uses.)
1 big onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 cups carrots, chopped
1 package white button mushrooms, sliced
1 quart chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup half and half, or some combination of milk/sour cream or just milk
salt and pepper
In a large dutch oven on medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until a little crispy, probably 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently. Then, put in the onions, garlic, celery salt and pepper to taste and cook another 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Then, add the carrots, mushrooms, stock and bay leaves. Cook until the carrots are tender, probably 30 minutes or so, partially covered.
With your immersion blender, puree the soup as much as possible, taking care not to spray yourself with boiling hot soup, as I inevitably do. Stir in the cream or milk or sour cream or whatever you’re using and serve with crusty, buttered bread.