I can’t believe it’s November already! My blogging has been so sporadic the last few months! I can assure you though, I’m cooking away, testing and developing recipes. The act of actually getting them up on the blog seems to be challenging but I’ll try to be better. Since I last posted, the weather has begun to change in Chicago. And with that change, my wife and I started up “Sunday Soup Day.” The idea and execution is quite simple – we love soup and so, every Sunday I make a different soup. Except tomato. She hates tomato soup. However, this particular Bacon Potato Leek soup was a nod to my culinary school days. I had never cooked with a leek before I attended culinary school. Now every time I use them, I think back to using them a classic Vichyssoise. My Bacon Potato Leek Soup is a riff off of that French classic and it is delicious! I added bacon for a little meaty richness and homemade croutons for a delicious crunch! Here’s to fall, crisp weather and Sunday Soup Day! Enjoy!
Bacon Potato Leek Soup
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in half, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 4 gloves garlic, minced
- 3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 2 cups cubed crusty bread (Ciabatta, French, etc.)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
- In large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp and browned, about 10 – 12 minutes.
- Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.
- Discard all but 1 tbsp. of the bacon fat from the pan.
- Return pan to medium heat and add the butter.
- When the butter is melted, add the leeks, celery and garlic. Saute for 5 – 7 minutes until everything is softened.
- Add the potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer until potatoes have softened about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Place half the soup in a blender and puree until smooth. Remove the blender filler cap to let steam escape.
- Return soup to pan, add cream, stir and simmer until thickened slightly, about 20 – 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place bread into a medium bowl and drizzle with the vegetable oil and toss to evenly coat all of the pieces.
- Add Parmesan cheese, parsley and garlic powder and toss well again.
- Place bread on a sheet pan and cook for 15 – 20 until lightly browned and crispy.
- When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with bacon, croutons and cheddar cheese.