Baked Potato and Leek Soup with Cheddar and Bacon

This one is one of my favorite soup recipes – it’s warm, filling and a very hearty winter soup, which continues to be apt even in March, when it’s still quite cold here in the North-East. I wasn’t too excited about this recipe when I first saw it because it wasn’t too colorful and I like having food that have a lot of colors, so my friend decided to spice things up a little by adding some sriracha sauce. I was very skeptical about the addition, but it definitely gave the soup that extra kick that it needed (at least for me, but then again, I love spicy food!). The sauce definitely made it more colorful and inviting than just a cream soup. I would suggest doing the same, perhaps adding a few drops of sriracha to try it out first. For those who want to make it more healthy, I would suggest cutting down on the bacon – I usually add a little less because I like the crunch that it provides, but not all the fat that comes with it.

potatoleeksoup2

Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Comfort Food. Gives 4-5 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1/2 lb. each)
  • 4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced leeks (about 2 medium leeks; white and light green parts), rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-5 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens or fresh chives
  • 2 cups homemade or lower-salt chicken broth
  • sriracha sauce, optional

Directions

  • Scrub the potatoes in water, pat dry, and pierce in several places with a fork. Warm them in a microwave until very tender when pierced with a fork, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, put the bacon in a skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon bits with a slotted spoon to a saucer lined with paper towels to drain and cool.
  • When the potatoes are cool, cut one of them in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop the flesh in one piece from each half. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the pot with the leeks. Purée the contents of the pot until very smooth. A hand blender would work really well here, because it can be a pain to transfer the mixture to an ordinary blender.
  • After pureeing, heat the soup over medium low. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream until smooth and then whisk this into the soup, along with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar. The soup should be fairly thick, but if it seems too thick, thin it with a little water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the remaining Cheddar, the bacon bits, and the scallions or chives.
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3 thoughts on “Baked Potato and Leek Soup with Cheddar and Bacon

    • Suparna Chaudhry says:

      Hi Jeffery, sorry for the late reply! You should put the entire potatoes in the pot together once the broth has been done and leeks cooked. I’ll make it clearer! Thanks for pointing it out.

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