Sunday, November 7, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

Simple, healthy and inexpensive, what more could you ask for? This soup has a great creamy consistency without the cream and it's oh so delicious. The leek is a member of the onion family, but the flavor is much more subtle than a standard onion. This is a recipe made easier with your Immersion Blender but if you don't have one you can always blend it up in batches in your blender or food processor. The combination of aromatic Thyme paired with leeks and potatoes is wonderful!  Oh, and the bacon isn't half bad either.

Recipe: (serves 4)
Ingredients:
2 medium-sized leeks, washed thoroughly and diced
4 sprigs fresh Thyme leaves, diced (or 1 tablespoon dried Thyme)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 strips bacon, diced + 2 strips cooked in the microwave and crumbled for garnish, chopped
6 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 - 1 1/4 pounds potatoes, diced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh green onions or chives, diced for garnish
Shredded cheese for garnish
Crumbled bacon for garnish

Directions:
1.Trim the darkest green portions of the leeks and using a sharp knife, halve the white parts lengthwise and rinse very well under cool water being sure to get rid of any grit and sand. 

 Leeks are notoriously dirty so this is a very important step 
as even the most delicious soup will be ruined if it has grit from the leeks. 

Cube up the potatoes in about equal size cubes 

2. In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon.  Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon begins to crisp up.  Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
3. Add the thyme, remaining chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and falling apart.

4. Using an Immersion Blender puree the soup right in the pot being sure to keep your blender at a slight angle.  Or if you are using a blender or food processor, work in batches pureeing the soup until smooth then return to the pot.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

5. Serve topped with various toppings such as chopped green onions, bacon crumbles and freshly shredded cheddar cheese.

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