Recipe: Smells Good in Here Potato Soup

Smells Good in Here Potato Soup

By Staci Summers, inspired by Nancy Vennare

Makes about 12 cups

My mom’s recipe follows, with some of my notes on changes I’ve made.  You can easily make the soup vegetarian, vegan, even gluten free with some simple omissions or changes (coconut oil for butter, liquid smoke for bacon, and coconut milk for half and half).  It’s nearly fool proof, so use it at your pleasure.

May it warm your home and your soul.


  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 or 3 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 cups sliced onion
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 4 cups sliced potatoes (I used yellow for their color and texture as much as their flavor)
  • 6 cups water (I used homemade chicken stock)
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cups half and half (optional)

*My additions.  Use them if you have them on hand or want to add something new to your pantry:

  • ½ tsp. Herbamare
  • Sprinkle of organic kelp granules
  • 2-inch piece of dried kombu


Melt the coconut oil in a large enamel or stainless steel soup pot.  Fry the bacon until crisp, careful not to burn.  Add the onions and cook on low heat, about 10 minutes, until they are translucent but not brown.  Add the butter, if you are using it.  When the butter melts, add the flour, if using.  Cook the flour for a couple minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the parsley and half and half.  Simmer the soup about 40 minutes on low heat with the lid on.

Remove the pot from the cooktop.  Once the soup has cooled slightly, fish out the kombu and discard.  Mash the potatoes with a potato masher right in the pot.   You don’t need to puree or blend the soup, unless you want to and if you did not use bacon.  Bacon doesn’t “blend” well!

Finish by adding the parsley and the half and half.

A lot of soups taste even better the day after you make them and this one is no exception.

*Herbamare is sea salt infused with organic herbs and vegetables.  I use it in lots of recipes to add extra flavor as well as saltiness.  Kelp granules are rich in minerals and trace elements and are an excellent source of iodine, which is absent from a lot of other natural salts.  Kombu is a dried kelp also high in vitamins and minerals.  I use it to add these vital nutrients to beans, soups and sauces, something I learned from Amy Chaplin’s gorgeous cookbook and invaluable resource, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen.