Leek time again! This time round I found a simple recipe for a classic soup – bacon, potato and leek soup without the cream and no stock involved, though you are free to use stock if you wish.
I used David Lebovitz’s recipe. The only modification I made was adding in the bacon. I fried the bacon bits before adding in the leeks. So no need for oil/butter as the bacon provided the fat. One trick I like to use to “pre-render” the fat from the bacon is to microwave the bacon for about 1-2 minutes on a paper towel before frying. It removes a lot of the unwanted fat as you only need a bit for the frying.
I had the soup with some crusty bread I had baked. Mmmm…
Bacon, Potato, and Leek Soup
(adapted from here)
- 2-3 tablespoons butter or olive oil OR 2 or more slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
- 4 leeks, washed and sliced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme; optional
- 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
- 6 cups (1.5l) water or stock (chicken or vegetable work fine)
- 1 1/4-pounds (600 g) potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper, or black pepper
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter/olive oil or bacon over medium heat. If using bacon, render as much fat as possible from the bacon before moving onto the next step.
- Add the slices leeks and season with salt. Cook the leeks over moderate heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re completely soft and wilted.
- Add the thyme, if using, and chile powder, and stir for about 30 seconds, cooking them with the leeks to release their flavor flavors.
- Pour in the water/stock, and add the potatoes and bay leaf.
- Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender when poked with a sharp knife. Depending on which potatoes you used, it could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
- Pluck out the bay leaves and puree the soup with the pepper, seasoning with more salt if necessary. I use an immersion (stick) blender, but if you use a standard blender, be sure not to fill it more than half-full and secure the lid, and cover it with a tea towel when blending, to avoid hot soup or steam for causing problems. Don’t use a food processor as that will make the potato purée gummy.
- If the soup is too thick, add a bit more water, until it’s the desired consistency.