This soup recipe is something I started making a few years ago when I started growing leeks in my garden and needed something to do with them. I love leeks because they have a milder onion flavor and are easier on my stomach than onions. By the way, if you garden, leeks grow some amazing flowers if you just let ’em go wild. I’ll post a photo this summer to prove it!
I was never big on potato soup before because it always seemed so heavy and overwhelmed with cheese (did I just say that? I love cheese), but this one has bacon and white wine and fresh thyme in it, plus heavy cream. Uh — how can you go wrong with that?
1 large leek, cleaned and sliced into bite sized pieces. Don’t cut up the green leaves, just the tender white part. Save two larger green leaves — you will use them.
2 strips of bacon, cut in pieces
1 cup of good, white wine (drink the rest on your own with dinner)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
10 whole pepper corns
salt, to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream (or half-n-half, milk, whatever you’d like)
a small amount of kitchen twine or some cheese cloth
2-4 cups of chicken stock
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced (put them in water so they don’t brown up before adding to the soup)
a blender, food processor, or an immersion blender/stick blender
Heat up a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium high heat and add your chopped up bacon, frying until crisp. Take the bacon out and set it aside for later.
In the bacon fat, add your chopped up leeks and saute until they begin to look translucent. They will smell amazing — who knew that giant veggie had that much flavor in it.
While your leeks are cooking, take those two larger green leaves and create a bundle with thyme and peppercorns in the middle. Tie that package up with twine, or wrap it in cheesecloth and tie it with a strip of cheesecloth both ways. This will be removed later, but think f-l-a-v-o-r without littering your soup with leaves and black pepper.
Pop that sucker in with your leeks. Once they are softened a bit, deglaze with the cup of white wine. Add your stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook at a simmer for about 20-30 minutes until your potatoes are super soft.
Pull out your leek bundle and discard. Add about 1/2 of your reserved crispy bacon and blend your soup until it is smooth. My wonderful husband gifted me an immersion blender, which worked perfectly, but if you don’t have one you can run your soup through a blender or a food processor and add it back to your pot. If it is too thick, add more stock. It should not be like wallpaper paste. Add your blended soup back into your pot and add just enough cream/dairy product to make this look pretty. A half cup should do it! Taste it and add as much salt as you think it needs. Since you are dealing with potatoes, I’m guessing 1 tsp would do ya right.
Serve this in bowls with a few crispy bacon/lardons on top and some crusty bread or a salad.
Yum! You will never look at leeks in the store in the same way.