Spraying the bacon with nonstick cooking spray helps it render faster. When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth. Because this soup is pureed, it doesn’t matter how straight or even the knife cuts are. So this is a great recipe to practice your slicing and dicing.