When you have leeks in the fridge, potatoes in the cellar, and chicken stock in the freezer, it’s time to make Leek and Potato Soup.
Leeks are so good for your health, and they have such a unique flavor. It’s probably my favorite vegetable, and one I can get locally.
Since I happened to have some stock leftover from the Lemon-Garlic Roast Chicken I made last month, I took it out to thaw over the weekend and made a batch of the soup tonight. It’s supposed to snow hard this week. What could be a better way to welcome in winter?
This recipe is based on one from Bon Appetit called Creamy Leek Soup with Bacon and Shallots, which I can’t find anywhere online. I admit, it’s delicious with the bacon but I didn’t have any happy bacon in the house. Nor did I have shallots. Plus, it’s much faster to make it without those last two ingredients, which are actually used for a garnish.
Since a potato is used to thicken the soup instead of cream, it’s a nice alternative to vichyssoise, especially if you’re watching your fat intake or have dairy allergies.
Here’s my adaptation of the recipe.
Leek and Potato Soup
4 large leeks, pale green and white parts only, chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
Olive oil for sauteing
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups chicken stock
1 large Yukon potato, peeled and cut into eighths
Salt and white pepper to taste
Optional: 4 strips bacon, 2 shallots, and one large leek for garnish (see below)
Put onion and leeks plus a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan or soup stock. Sprinkle with sugar, thyme, and salt. Saute about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender. Avoid browning.
Add potato, then stock. Bring to boil. Simmer with lid on pot until potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Puree soup in batches, then return to pot. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces. Cook bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain.
Slice shallots and leek. Arrange on baking sheet and drizzle with bacon drippings (or olive oil). Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheet. (Can be made ahead.)
Ladle warmed soup into bowls and garnish with bacon and roasted shallots and leek.