You guys. I’m excited about two things today. First, I’m so, so, super excited to be here with y’all in the food-blogosphere. I used to be an Instagram-only gal, but look how far we’ve come. Soon we’ll have our own domain name and everything. Movin’ on up.
Second, I absolutely cannot contain my enthusiasm about LEEKS!!!
So, now that we got all that out of the way, let’s talk soup. It’s about 15 degrees here in Michigan, and all I want to do is swaddle myself in a blanket and eat soup all day. Ya feel me? Soup is the coziest meal, and this potato, leek and bacon soup is no exception. It was inspired by Julia Child’s simple potato and leek soup, but I took the liberty of adding bacon. Because bacon.
And the best part about this recipe? Because its ingredients list is so simple, it’s one of the cheapest ways to get a filling dinner on the table. However, I suggest that you scrap the table and enjoy a bowl while you’re wrapped in your favorite blanket. It truly is the best.
Potato, Leek & Bacon Soup
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins | Yield: 6 servings
- 2 slices bacon
- 4 medium leeks, dark green parts and roots discarded
- 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 7 cups water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- Apple cider vinegar (another mild, sweet vinegar like white wine works too)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- optional: chives, scallions, and/or crème fraîche, for topping
- Halve the leeks lengthwise, place in a large bowl, and cover with cold water. Leeks are notoriously dirty and sandy, so you really have to work to get that gunk out of there! Leave the leeks to soak while you prep your potatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs if you have them. When you’re done with the other vegetables, drain the leeks, give them one more good rinse, and chop them.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it’s crisp and has rendered most of its fat. Drain the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels, and finely chop it. Keep the fat in the pot—we’ll use it to cook the leeks next!
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the leeks to the bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until leeks are soft and translucent. Be patient—you’ll need to wait about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic, parsley, and thyme, and cook for 1–2 more minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add potatoes, bay leaf, and water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10–15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and fall apart when you poke them with a fork. Remove from heat.
- Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes as well as you can. Potatoes can get sticky and gummy if you blend them too much, so get as much mashing out of the way as possible.
- Blend the soup with an immersion blender until just combined. Some chunks are fine. (You can also use a regular high-power blender for this step.)
- Stir in the cream, chopped bacon, and a sprinkle of vinegar. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve hot, topped with chives, crème fraîche, and more bacon.