Monday was a day for soup. Ergo, I went shopping for very specific items and made a pot of it. I had in mind my mom's utterly comfortable potato soup, but wanted it a little more refined and healthy, a little more bacony, and wanted to skip one ingredient hers has that I think just might not belong. It was a good experiment, and I'm writing it down for the sake of posterity, or maybe just so I remember how to do it again. My method is pretty relaxed and unmeasured, so I apologize if you aren't the kind of person who eyeballs it, or adds ingredients by pinch and slosh.
First, I peeled 5 pounds of red potatoes. The pot fed 12ish people, so it's a decent amount. Chop them up and simmer them until almost soft, and drain them (the fork goes into them but they don't fall apart; they will cook more after everything else is added). While they are cooking, cut up 2 pounds of bacon and fry it. A large onion (hot), 2 or 3 crowns of broccoli and 5 or 6 cloves of garlic should be prepared. The sliced onion, diced broccoli, and minced garlic are sauteed in about 1/2 of the bacon grease (put the garlic in only for the last minute or so or it will overcook and not taste as good).
Salt and pepper generously and to taste - I think I used about 1.5 teaspoons of fresh ground pepper and at least a Tablespoon of salt. Cook on low (not quite simmering; it's easy to burn this milk-based soup) for an hour or so. Best with bread of some kind, not crackers. And homemade bread, fresh and warm, if possible.