- 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1/2 pound each)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups sliced leeks (about 2 medium leeks; white and light green parts), rinsed well
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
1/2 cup milk (low-fat, optional)
1/2 cup sour cream (low-fat, optional)
4 thick slices bacon
1 cup grated sharp cheddar (about 1/4 pound)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens or chives
- Heat the oven to 375°F. Scrub the potatoes in water, pat dry, and pierce in several places with a fork. Set them directly on an oven rack and bake until very tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, use a cookie sheet covered in tinfoil topped with a cooling rack and place individual strips of bacon on the cooling rack. Cook until the bacon is crisp, checking frequently; it should take 20-25 minutes to crisp.
- 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.
- If you haven't cooked your bacon in the oven, put the bacon in a skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon saucer lined with paper towels to drain and cool. Chop finely.
- 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 set aside. Coarsely chop the potato skin and the entire remaining potato and add to the pot with the leeks.
- Purée the contents of the pot in a blender until very smooth (you'll need to work in two batches). Return the puréed soup to a clean soup pot and reheat over medium low.
- Whisk together the milk and sour cream until smooth and then whisk this into the soup, along with 1/2 cup of the cheddar. Stir in the diced potato.
- 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.
- Other, Soups/Stews
- North American
- Makes about 6 cups, or enough to serve 4