|Bacon and Cabbage Soup
1 (1/3-pound) piece Irish bacon or Canadian bacon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
5 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
4 Turkish bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, cored, thinly sliced, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
In small saucepan, combine bacon and cold water to cover. Cover, bring to boil over moderate heat, and skim foam from surface. Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes. Drain and cool, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
In 6-quart heavy stock pot over moderate heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes and sauté 2 minutes. Add stock, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add cabbage and simmer 5 additional minutes. Discard bay leaves. Working in 3 batches, in blender purée soup until smooth (using caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot, stir in bacon, and rewarm if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.