Good morning friends. I’m writing to you from my kitchen counter over a steaming cup of hazelnut coffee and a plate of leftover bacon from last night’s soup. Yes, I am only eating bacon for breakfast.
Last night’s Top Chef University recipe was for probably the most well known and basic cream based soup, Potato Leek. We mastered clear soups with the Rustic Chicken Noodle Soup on Monday.
After doing both I think making cream based soups is easier. The flavors really pop once you cook down the cream and it tastes really really fancy.
Meet Mr. Rustic Potato (peeled, diced and sitting in a bowl of water to stop oxidation) and Mrs. Leek (dark green ends removed, stocks sliced in half then sliced short ways, ‘agitating’ in water)
What I did in this recipe that I’d never done before…
- I ‘agitated’ leeks
- scratch that, I actually cooked with leeks…
- I learned what a shallot is.
Okay let’s get to the recipe already!
Home-style Potato Leek Soup with Bacon!
Spike teaches how to make this dish. It takes about an hour with prep time and makes 4-6 servings.
- 2 TBSP evoo
- 4-7 slices of thick cut bacon
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leafs
- ~ 1 pt vegetable stock
- 1 pt heavy cream
- 2 scallions
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a medium sauce pan. Slice 2 of the strips of bacon, leaving the rest in strips for garnish. Add bacon to the oil and cook. Once cooked add leeks. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove whole bacon strips once cooked through. Add shallots and butter. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Now it’s time to add the aromatics. Add thyme by stripping leaves off the sprigs, bay leafs, and garlic. Stir for a minute and add cream and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, be careful not to over season. (seasoning between steps is what ‘builds’ and ‘layers’ the flavors)
- Begin by adding a half cup of veggie broth. While the potatoes cook through, the cream will cook down. Continue adding stock to retain the desired consistency. I kept my cream-broth on the more watery side.
- Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Top with a strip of bacon and a few slices of scallion.
Are you licking your lips yet????
It all looks so mature and fancy! Here’s what really happened in the kitchen…
I become Maren-BEAST of Cambridge when I see bacon!
Karla and Spike have both taken the time to explain Mis en Place. It’s basically just a fancy French word meaning everything in it’s place. Karla explained that it’s important to get all your ingredients ready before cooking. Have them washed and laid out. I did a bunch of the chopping before I even started cooking too.
Having everything organized helps the kitchen stay a little less hectic and makes cooking a ton more fun!
Agitating the leeks is just a way to wash them. After they’re sliced put them in a bowl of water. Stir them around getting all the dirt and grit out from between the stocks. The impurities will fall to the bottom, leaving the perfectly washed stuff at the top!
Be a culinary boss and agitate!
FYI… Donner finally realized he was getting absolutely NO BACON so he gave up…
The rope was necessary. Apparently he becomes Donner-BEAST of Cambridge when he smells bacon too.
The BIGGEST potato leek tip of all is…
don’t cut your potatoes too large. They wont cook through and you’ll have to fish them out, one by one, and boil them in a separate sauce pan for 7 minutes. Sigh.
5 bowls made, 5 people fed. Everyone was happy. happy. happy. And there was lot’s of lip licking!
Tell me about you!!! I want to know…
What is your favorite cream based soup?
The bagel place in Salinas makes this amazing artichoke bisque… I’d probably kill for it…
Have you ever ‘agitated’ leeks?
How do you feel about bacon?
OHHH HOLY MAMA IT”S TASTY!