Cream of Leek and Potato Soup done my way
I present to you my version and recipe for leek and potato soup and I have kicked it up a notch with a topping of crisp chunks of fried bacon. Oh my gosh, the combination will totally send you to soup heaven. OK, we could sit here and continue talking about it, but why not prepare it and try it for yourself. Let's get started. This recipe will serve a party of 4 comfortably.
2 large leek stalks
3 medium Russet potatoes
2 large shallots
3 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable)
1 cup of half n half
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
4 strips of unflavored bacon
This soup is very simple to make and one that will probably get you the biggest raves from your dinner guests. As with every recipe, we must do all our prep work. Start by taking your leeks and cut off the root area and about 2 inches off the top. Now starting at one end, starting cutting slices about 1/8 inch thick. When finished, rinse them well in a large bowl to get rid of all the dirt there may be. Drain and set aside. Be sure to save some of the slices for garnish as pictured above.
Take the shallots and finely chop them. In a pot, heat the oil and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and occasionally stir. Cook shallots for about 4 minutes until they get nicely translucent. Next, add the leeks and stir well, continuing to cook for about another 5 minutes.
While the shallots and leeks are cooking, peel your potatoes and dice them in 1/2 inch squares. Peel and with your knife, crush the garlic cloves. Add the potatoes and garlic to the pot and stir. Add your salt and pepper. Continue to cook a few more minutes and add the chicken (or vegetable) stock. Bring to a slow boil and stir occasionally. Lower heat to low and cover allowing to slow cook for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Next, add the half n half and remainder of the butter. Bring to a slow boil and taste for flavor. If you need a bit more salt, you may add it now. Continue to cook on low for about 5 more minutes. Using a food processor, begin to process 4 ladles at a time for 2 minutes for every 4 ladles. Transfer to a large bowl. When all the soup has been processed, return it to the pot and simmer for a couple of minutes. The soup should be completely smooth and velvety with no clumps.
Chop the bacon in small 1/4 inch slices and saute over medium high heat in a frying pan until it gets nice and browned. Remove and let set on a paper towel to degrease. Serve the soup with some of the slices of leeks and top with the bacon bits. Serve hot and enjoy. As a side, a nice French baguette and a tossed salad of mixed greens or frise will complement very well. Bonne appetit!