I love this recipe. This is one that I have worked on for 17 years. My kids and husband just love this soup, especially during the winter for rainy seasons in Idaho. Great for a fall day when you come in form working in the yard on a cold chilly day, or in the Winter after a day of skiing or playing in the snow. I hope you all enjoy. Happy New Year!!!
Over medium heat cook your bacon ends and pieces in a very large pot to about 3/4 of the way done. If your grocery store does not have bacon ends and pieces you can get 1" thick slickes in your deli. Its about 5 lbs. Once cooked thoroughly remove from pan and place on plate to cool. Drain grease from pan except for about 2 tablespoons. Add chopped onion and saute till they begin to sweat.
Once onion is sweating add the evaporated milk and turn heat down to a very low medium. In two separate sauce pans boil your celery and your carrots in water till they are about half way done. I have found that if you cook them all the way from start to finish in the soup the flavor of these two things will out weigh the bacon/potato flavor.
Once the celery and the carrots are half way cooked, drain off water and add to the soup base along with the uncooked potatoes. Separate the fat and the bacon chunks and cube the bacon or make small bite size pieces. Add to soup base. Turn heat up to medium high checking on it very, very frequently so you don't burn or scald it.
Cook this on medium high heat. Once the potatoes are done which should be about 25-35 minutes you can add your potato buds. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. This thickens the soup and helps with the creamy flavor.
If you like to use crock pots you can do a longer cooking version in a crock pot. I have been known to let this cook all day in a crock pot. Same prep though. I just cook it on low. This take me about 5-6 hours.