Tuesday, May 5, 2009

BLP Soup (That's Bacon, Leek and Potato)

Until a few years ago, leeks were as foreign to me as Ferraris and focaccia. (That Ferrari is still, and will always be, foreign to me, but I've come to know and love focaccia.) You need to understand that when I was growing up, our family garden was comprised of the limited vegetables that I would come to know as my produce staples as an adult. Corn, peas, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and leaf lettuce were what was grown in almost all the gardens in my little Ohio home town, and we only ate what we grew. Years later I made a vow to regularly introduce new vegetables into my diet, and thus came the meeting of Mags and the leek. I'll admit, I was intimated at first. Leeks look like onions on steroids, don't you think?
After researching recipes containing this vegetable, I was assured that I'd find it much more mellow than an onion, and a perfect ingredient for this hearty soup. I also discovered that leeks are best chopped/diced before they're cleaned as their layered structure tends to hold in grit and dirt. So don't skip this step

Bacon, Leek and Potato Soup

4 slices of bacon (reserve 1 Tbsp grease from frying)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 leeks, diced, rinsed thoroughly (use only the white and light green part)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 medium red skinned potatoes, scrubbed but leave skins on, diced into 1 1/2' cubes
Approximately 1 quart chicken broth (enough to cover potatoes)
1 pouch Savory Choice chicken broth concentrate (or one bouillon cube)
1/2 cup fat free half and half

In soup pot, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pot and drain on paper towels. Crumble and reserve for garnish/topping.

Discard all but one tablespoon of bacon grease. To this add the olive oil. Add onions and leeks, then season with red pepper flakes, celery salt, pepper and thyme. Stir well and saute until onions and leeks are softened. Add in minced garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add diced potatoes and cover with chicken broth. Add Savory Choice or bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, stir well, reduce heat, then simmer until potatoes are tender, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash with potato masher until soup reaches desired constancy. You could also puree it in the blender if you like it smoother, but I happen to like a little bit of texture. Stir in half and half, season again with salt and pepper as needed and reheat to warm. To serve, top with crumbled bacon bits.

I'm entering this recipe in May's Potato Ho Down sponsored by Cathy at Noble Pig. If you haven't checked out her blog.. well first I'd be surprised to find that you've found me before you've found her, but in the event that you haven't been there, check it out. I love that blog (yes, Cathy... I'm a shameless brown noser...lol)


Happy cook said...

WOw if i make this soup for my hubby he will be so so pleased with it.
Looks yumm.

Alejandra said...

This soup looks divine!!! I love bacon and leek and potato...I can only imagine in yummy soup form

Mags said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting Happy Cook and Alejandra!

Debbie said...

I have not cooked with leeks as yet. I bet they are wonderful with the potatos in your soup.

Mags said...

Debbie... yes, the leeks really went well with the potatoes, kinda like really really mild onions. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Mrs. L said...

This looks awesome. It has bacon so you know I'll try it!

Mags said...

LOL Mrs. L., I feel the same way. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

bigsis said...

Hi Mags,

What a beautiful soup! I think it would be pretty easy for me to convert it to a vegetarian version. Love your blog, and the fact that you do a lot of soups!


Snooty Primadona said...

I don't care how you make it, I've never met a potato soup (or anything else potato) that I didn't like. Yours is lovely. I could just inhale that right now.

Mags said...

bigsis and snootyprimadona, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!