Loaded Potato and Leek SoupPosted: 3 October 2011
It is definitely officially fall here. Aside from any calendar markings, the tree leaves are in full swing, the evenings are crisp and I have broken out my sweaters…and my hand blender. It must be time for pureeing soups! What, you don’t also mark the seasons by the kitchen utensil use? That’s a shame. You know it’s winter when I break out the cookie cutters.
Potato and leek soup is a classic combination and there are probably a bazillion recipes for it. This is because it’s easy and easily adaptable. It also involves roughly three ingredients + some seasoning. And to top it off, both potatoes and leeks are super cheap.
I’ve been seeing a lot of loaded baked potato soups as of late. I actually made this soup, then saw three recipes in a row for loaded potato soups. This one is slightly different though, as the soup itself is a little bit thinner than some others. Some of those potato soups out there look about as thick as mashed potatoes. Personally I like my soup to be a little more like soup. I also like my soup to ever so slightly less calorie dense than a KFC bowl. Just my personal style. So when I was craving a potato soup with plenty of flavor (read: bacon) I quickly realized that a slightly adapted potato and leek soup would probably work fairly well.
Leeks are one of those farmer’s market items that you probably pass right by as a market novice. They look like giant scallions and they’re often filthy. Layers upon layers of dirt inside and out. They have a much more subtle flavor than an onion or scallion. I’m pretty sure Bridget Jones was trying to make potato and leek soup when she turned the soup blue by using blue ribbon instead of kitchen twine. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that every time I make a soup with leeks I channel Bridget at her finest in the kitchen. Sadly, Colin Firth does not appear at my door to make omelets for my dinner party. Anyway, leeks are delicious and worth the time for cleaning. I promise.
The beauty, I think, behind this recipe is that the soup itself is so easy and uninvolved. There’s very little that goes into the soup base. The toppings, though delicious, are completely optional. This soup is still delicious ‘unloaded’ or ‘partially loaded’.
Loaded Potato and Leek Soup
Makes 10 servings, or one giant pot
2 quarts low sodium beef broth
3 large Russet baking potatoes, diced
2 large leeks, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
5 ounces of cheddar, finely grated
4 scallions, sliced into rounds
In a large stock pot bring broth to a boil. Add the chopped potatoes and leeks. Cover and let simmer until the potatoes are soft and tender.
Once tender, turn the the heat down to low. Using an immersion hand blender, blend the potatoes and leeks until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If the broth boiled down significantly add 1-2 cups of water.
Simmer for 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve with cheese, bacon and scallions on top.