Inspired by the French classic of baby leek and potato soup, this soup, with a hint of bacon, is always a hit with guests at the restaurant and at home. It works well as either a starter or a main course.
Note: If used as a starter, it makes a nice prelude to a main course with full flavors, such as a red meat or game dish.—Michel Deville and Brendan O’Farrell
4 to 5 medium leeks, about 1 1/2 pounds
8 thick smoked bacon slices, diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled and diced
2 quarts poultry stock or vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream or crème fraîche for garnish
1. To prepare the leeks, chop off and discard the root ends, the top dark green parts and any discolored outer leaves. Halve the white and tender pale green parts of the leeks lengthwise, then cut into 1/4-inch slices. Wash the slices thoroughly in cold water to get rid of any trapped sand or soil, and drain in a colander. You should have about 4 cups of cut leeks after trimming and cleaning.
2. Fry the bacon over medium heat in a large skillet until it begins to brown. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside in a bowl lined with paper towels. In a large saucepan or heavy stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat until it bubbles. Add the onion and leeks, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the leeks soften.
3. Add the potatoes, bacon, and the stock. Bring the soup to a boil, for 1 minute, then reduce heat, cover and simmer gently over low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through, without becoming too soft. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche.
Recipe © 2006 by DreamCooks.net. All rights reserved.