bacon, potato and leek soup

bacon, potato and leek soup with a hunk of bread

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)

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons butter or olive oil OR 2 or more slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 4 leeks, washed and sliced
  • salt
  • 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

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the thyme, if using, and chile powder, and stir for about 30 seconds, cooking them with the leeks to release their flavor flavors.
  4. Pour in the water/stock, and add the potatoes and bay leaf.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. If the soup is too thick, add a bit more water, until it’s the desired consistency.
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