Potato-Leek Soup | Recipe | St. Patrick's Day Dinner

This potato-leek soup is smooth and creamy without adding any significant amount of cream.  The cream used in this recipe is mainly for decoration.  The overall flavors are subtle and delicate.  This soup is a wonderful starter or it can be a meal in itself. 

Potato-Leek Soup Recipe
Yields: 1-1/2 quarts, about 6 servings

3 leeks, white part only, divided
2 bay leaves
20 black peppercorns
4 springs fresh thyme
cheesecloth/coffee filter and kitchen twine to make bouquet garni
2 Tbsp butter
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 c dry white wine
5 c chicken stock
1 to 1-1/4 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1-1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 c heavy cream
3 Tbsp chives, chopped

1. Make a bouquet garni using 2 green leek leaves, peppercorns,and thyme.  Set aside.
2. Halve white part of the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water to rid the leek of sand.  Slice thinly crosswise. In a small bowl, set aside 1/4 c of chopped leeks for garnish.  Set aside remaining leeks to be added to the soup.
3. In a large soup pot over Medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is soft and has rendered most of its fat.  Add reserved chopped leeks for soup and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil.  Add the bouquet garni, chicken stock, potatoes, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart.
5. While soup cooks, prepare garnish.  Melt butter over Medium heat.  Add reserved 1/4 c chopped leeks and saute until tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.
6. Remove the bouquet garni and, working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender.)
7. Ladle soup into bowls.  Using a plastic squeeze bottle, drizzle some heavy cream over soup.  Place a 1/2 Tbsp of leeks in the middle of each soup bowl.  Sprinkle each bowl with chopped chives.


Source: Adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Potato and Leek Soup recipe

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