Leek and Potato Soup (for the Souper Bowl!)

It was about this time last year that my Money Where My Mouth is Project started, using this blog to help raise money for charities all over the country (if you’re new to PLFF, here’s all my charity related posts).  It was such an amazing experience and I made lots of new friends along the way.  So when I saw a fellow blogger (Branny Boils Over) embarking on a similar mission, I wanted to support her in any way I could.  Here’s the deal – Branny is hosting a Charity Souper Bowl!  For every soup recipe submitted, she’ll donate $1 to ASPCA.  Easy enough, right?  You don’t even have to be a blogger to participate.  Just have a great soup recipe?  Then make it, photograph it (don’t worry, amateur photos are just fine!) and email it to Branny (details on her site) and she’ll still donate a dollar.  Don’t forget to mention a furry friend you want to dedicate your recipe to.

Speaking of furry friends… I know I’ve mentioned mine before, but here’s another cute pic.  Just because I can.  Here’s my Ellie and Diesel.  Ellie is a 4 year old Blue Heeler mix and Diesel is a Rottweiller/German Shepherd/Husky mix.  We love out mutts.  Can’t imagine our lives without them!  And they are definitely my sous chefs in the kitchen, keeping a watchful eye for anything to fall to the floor.  Diesel really likes when I’m peeling carrots, usually there’s a rogue carrot peel that misses the trash can :)  And so I’m dedicating my soup recipe to my babies.
Anyway, onto the soup recipe.  I fell in love with this type of soup again when I was in Ireland for a week.  Here in the US, most of our leek and potato soup recipes are cream based.  Actually pretty much any kind of soup with potatoes in them are cream based.  This lighter version is much more of an authentic Irish style. And is as standard in restaurants as chicken noodle soup is here.  When I first tried this recipe it took me right back to those cozy little restaurants along the Irish coasts.  A few tweaks to the recipe and it was just how I remembered it.  That’s the point of comfort food, right?  I hope you like it as much as I do!
Leek and Potato Soup
adapted from Rachael Ray’s 2-4-6-8 Cookbook

6 slices bacon, chopped
3 celery ribs, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 leeks, trimmed, halved and sliced, rinsed well
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 quarts chicken stock (store bought or homemade*)
sourdough bread for dunking

Heat soup pot over medium high heat.  Add bacon and cook until brown and crisp.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate and reserve.  Drain off all but 2 tbsp of bacon fat and return to medium heat.

Add celery, carrots and leeks to the pan and stir to combine.  Add bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until leeks start to wilt, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the stock to the vegetables and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes, cook for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Add bacon back to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with bread.

*See that dark, rich color of the broth?  That comes from homemade stock.  Now I’m all about stock in a box for the recipes that need a little here and a little there, but when you’re making soup, it’s SO worth it to make your own stock.  SO much more flavor!  So go buy a rotisserie chicken, make chicken salad, and use the carcass to make stock.  It’s easy!


One thought on “Leek and Potato Soup (for the Souper Bowl!)

  1. Pingback: Creamsicle Cookies « Peace, Love and French Fries

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