Another idea for a cold day when you need something comforting... this one is smooth and creamy you can load it up or keep it simple. Either way, this recipe is delicious. A spin on a classic Julia Child recipe, I thought bacon sounded good so I started with that and layered on the flavor. Try it and let me know what you think!
BACON, LEEK AND POTATO SOUP
3 leeks, about 1 ½ pounds
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme (1/3 teaspoon of dry thyme if you don’t have fresh)
2 tablespoons butter
2 strips bacon, chopped
5 cups chicken stock
1 to 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped (optional)
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Leeks can hide lots of grit so you have to clean them thoroughly. Take off the heavy outer leaves and cut off the green top. Next, cut the white part of the leek in half lengthwise. Rinse well under running water then slice it very thin. Place in a colander and rinse again. Drain well.
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, add the bacon. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped leeks and cook until they are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the remaining ingredients except the heavy cream and bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart
Remove the bay leaves and fresh thyme. Check the seasoning. You may need to add some salt or pepper. Add the heavy cream.
At this point, you can either serve the soup as it is, or you can puree some or all of it. I prefer to puree about half of it, leaving some texture in the soup. You can puree the soup using a blender or food processor by working in batches. Carefully add the hot soup to the appliance, leave some room at the top. Secure the lid and place a clean dish towel over the top before you start the appliance. Since I like kitchen gadgets, I have an immersion blender. It’s so easy to puree directly in the pot and less to clean up!
Serve the soup immediately. Garnish with chopped green onions, chives, cheddar cheese, or even a little hot sauce.