Thursday, January 5, 2012

Baked Potato and Leek Soup

Baked Potato and Leek Soup
Creamy, cheesy, hearty, veggie packed, restaurant worthy meal in a bowl. But sooooo NOT figure friendly. I'm sure you could make slimmer variations with skim milk and fat-free stuff, but it probably won't taste as good as this one! Potato soup is my all-time favorite and this recipe is the best one I've made. It is super easy and perfect for cold snowy days.

10 medium Potatoes (baked for 1 hr. at 350* and then rough chopped with skins on - do this first and bake while prepping all the other veggies and start to cook the soup)

1 large Carrot, peeled and shredded
1 stalk of Celery, diced
1/2 large Mayan/Sweet Onion, diced
2 Scallions, diced (Reserve a small amount for topping)

2 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 large Leeks, sliced (slice first then rinse in a bowl to wash away the sand, leeks float and sand sinks, drain/dry on paper towels)
Salt & Pepper 
A tablespoon of dried crushed Thyme (I eyeball this by pouring some in my palm and crushing it)
1 lb of Bacon (Reserve a small amount for topping)

4 tbsp of Butter
1/4 cup Flour
4 cups Milk
1 container Sour Cream
1 bag of shredded Cheese (I used Sargento's Double Cheddar) (Reserve a small amount for topping)
1 Box of Chicken Stock or Broth

Heat oven to 350* and bake the potatoes for 1 hr
While the potatoes bake, prep all veggies and other ingredients
When the potatoes are done, rough chop leaving their skins on and set aside.
Coat the bottom of a large stockpot or Dutch oven with a little vegetable oil.
Turn heat to medium high
Add all diced veggies (except potatoes) and Salt & Pepper & the Thyme, and stir occasionally until just softened
Remove veggies from pot and set aside.
Cook the bacon in the pot

Drain on paper towels and crumble and set aside.
Drain most of the grease but leave the browned bits
Add butter and melt, scrapping up the bits from the bottom of the pan

Add flour and make a roue
Whisk in milk slowly until all flour is dissolved and the liquid is thick
Season with Salt and Pepper

Add shredded cheese and stir until melted
Add sour cream and chicken stock and mix well
Return veggies to the pot along with the rough chopped baked potatoes and the crumbled bacon
and stir.

Let simmer on low until ready to serve.
Top with reserved scallions, bacon, and shredded cheese (optional)

Serve with crusty bread or a multi-grain flatbread like in my picture.

Rowan LOVES her soup!

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