Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes; drain. Combine potato, water, bay leaf, onion and celery. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Pass the soup through a sieve.
Heat milk over a double boiler. Blend butter and flour and add to hot milk; stir until smooth and thick. Slowly stir in the potato mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Aunt Bess advised heating quickly over a quick fire and serving at once. “Long standing spoils the soup,” she noted.
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