Obviously, potatoes are the star of the show in this soup, but the leeks play quite a large role as well. If you are not familiar with leeks, have no fear. They are nothing to be intimidated by. Leeks are simply a mildly flavored cousin of the onion. They are perfect in recipes where one might want oniony undertones, with a hint of garlic. Potatoes and leeks are old friends and they play along oh-so-well together. Throw in some bacon, cheddar and freshly snipped chives, and whoa doctor, you are in for one heck of treat. Enjoy.
Tips for working with Leeks:
When choosing leeks, be picky. Inspect the dark green ends and make sure they are not ragged looking. Then mosey your eyes along down to the root: it should look healthy and not slimy or dingy brown. A healthy root will have more of beigey tone. Once home and working with the leeks, make note that they grown in sandy soil, and we will need to take extra care to remove it. Remove the tough dark green ends and discard. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and discard of the root as well. You will notice the leek has many layers. At this point, you can either run cold water over the inner side of the leek moving the layers gently to-and-fro so that water can rinse in between them, or simply soak the leeks in a large bowl of cold water. Once the sand is removed, pat dry and continue working as instructed in the recipe.
- 6 Slices of Bacon diced
- 1 tbsp Canola Oil
- 2 Leeks rinsed and sliced (white and green parts only)
- 3 c Unsalted Chicken Broth separated
- 4 Potatoes peeled and cut into 1” chunks
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 + 3/4 c Half and Half
- 2 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Mustard Powder
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- c Freshly Grated Cheddar for garnish
- 2 tbsp Freshly Minced Chives for garnish
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute bacon for 10 minutes, or until crispy. Remove the bacon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Reduce the heat to medium, add the canola oil followed by the leeks and saute for 3 minutes or until softened. Splash in a small amount of chicken broth and using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan releasing any browned bits on the bottom. Add in the potatoes, remaining chicken broth and bay leaf. Allow to come to a simmer, increasing the heat to medium-high if necessary, place lid on slightly ajar and reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a brisk simmer.
Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and discard of bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to break up potatoes until the soup is of a creamy consistency.* Return Dutch oven to the stove top. Add the half and half, about two-thirds of the cooked bacon, salt, mustard powder and pepper and stir until evenly combined. Resume cooking the soup over a medium-low heat for 10-15, stirring occasionally. Garnish with cheddar cheese, reserved bacon pieces and fresh chives.
*Alternatively, ladle the soup into a food processor or blender, a couple cups at a time, and pulse. Take care not to let steam build up in either machine. This can be accomplished by removing the tube feed from either device and covering instead with a dish towel while pulsing. Place the creamy mixture into a large mixing bowl until all of the soup has been processed. Return soup to the Dutch oven.
Would pair well with: