Potato Leek Soup

20140326-potato-leek-soup
Potato Leek Soup, topped with cheese curds, chives, and croutons (oooh all “c” words at the end there, I didn’t plan that)

4 large leeks (green leafy-ish ends removed)
3 large Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 14oz. can or box or whatever of chicken stock
¼ cup green peas (fresh if possible, but frozen is just fine)
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 slice of bacon (optional)

I adore this soup and I find myself in the mood for it no matter what season it is. Leeks have a very mild onion flavor and can be great in a stuffing or paired with bacon. To start this soup, I chopped the leeks into thin strips and put them in a large soup pot with a couple tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. Then I added the garlic (I actually used green garlic stalk but I’m guessing that’s not very accessible for most people so regular garlic is just fine), green peas, and salt and pepper (a pinch of pepper and about four pinches of salt). I cooked this mixture on a medium heat until the leeks were limp and somewhat translucent.

In the meantime, I boiled my potatoes with the chicken stock and about 4 cups of water. Once the potatoes were thoroughly cooked, I poured them including all the liquid they were boiled with into the pot that had the leek mixture. Next, I added a couple more pinches of salt, stirred, and spooned the mixture into the blender until it was about ¾ of the way full. I had to blend the mixture in multiple batches because I don’t have a blender or food processor big enough for the whole mixture to fit in. Once the entire soup was blended, I returned it to the pan and tasted it to see if it needs more salt. Mine did, the flavor was great but it was flat, so I added a couple more pinches of salt and it was perfect. Also, if your soup is too thick just add some more chicken stock or water.

At this point I chopped up a slice of bacon and put it in the soup, covered it, and let the soup slightly simmer for at least a half hour. You do not need to have bacon in your soup, its great as it is but if your a smoke-a-pork-a-flavor lover like me that bacon is going in. Be super conservative with how much bacon you put in, however, it can pretty easily overpower a soup like this.

While your soup is in its final stage of cooking, dice some of your favorite bread (I used a multigrain sourdough) and put it in the oven or toaster oven at 200 degrees F and cook until they are completely crisp and croutony.

And that’s it! I topped my soup with plain cheese curds that I picked up from the farmer’s market, chives, and my croutons. I could not pass up an opportunity to add cheese to this, especially when I had cheese curds in the house.

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