Potato Leek Soup with Bacon
recipe by Food Network Magazine
adapted recipe by Sabrina W. for eat.drink.and be merry.
yields 4 servings
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups crusty bread of your choice, cubed
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, halved and then thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
4-5 small to medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
salt & pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup frozen peas (do not thaw)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To make the croutons, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium size bowl and toss in the bread cubes. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with paprika and cheese. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large stock pot over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the remaining butter, then add the leeks and garlic. (leeks can contain a lot of dirt between their layers, so it may help to half them and soak them in cold water for a few minutes to make sure they are thoroughly washed.) Cover and cook about 5 minutes. Add the broth, 2 cups water, the potatoes and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Puree half the soup in a blender or with a hand blender. If using a blender, remove the filler cap to let the steam out. Then return it to the pot. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Add the peas and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with croutons and chopped bacon.