SOUP NUMBER TWO – Creamy Stuffed Baked Potato and Leek Soup.
This soup was so very different from what I expected. And as usual, I varied from the recipes that I read online.
6-8 small to medium baked potatoes
1 Tbs of butter
3 medium leeks
4 cloves of garlic
4 cups of chicken broth
kosher salt (it was already on my potato skins)
pepper to taste
6 slices of thick bacon (eventually diced)
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cheese
I baked my potatoes earlier in the week. I actually planned on trying this soup – and I especially wanted to see how different this recipe was from the creamy potato soup of the week before.
So I started my prep with making sure I had all my ingredients ready. I peeled and cubed the potatoes, I diced up about 1/3 of the potato skins (discarding the rest to the compost pile), I washed and cleaned my leeks – and sliced them up. I prepared my garlic slices and then got started.
First, I put my 1tbs of butter into my pan, melted it and then added my 6 slices of thick bacon (doesn’t that look good middle picture below – smelled good too).
Once that was done, I took the bacon out onto a paper towel lined plate and added in the garlic, onions to the bacon drippings ~ and re-washed leeks. I used all three of the leeks that I purchased. They were organic and I had to wash – slice and then rewash, but I used them all because the other recipes I had read said people couldn’t taste them in the soup and I definitely wanted the onion like flavor of the leeks in the soup.
Add and cook your sliced leeks with the onions and garlic until the leeks are soft – about 10 minutes, then add the chicken broth and cook for about 20 minutes longer to really get the leeks very tender.
Next you’ll add the potatoes and chopped skins – I simmered this for about 10 more minutes – while I thought of how I would “cream” my potatoes.
I finally decided on two almost even batches in my kitchen aid mixer – as I could not find my blender (which is the usual way I would do this). Once I got them to the consistency I wanted, I returned them to the pot. You can chose your own consistency here — but the thickness does depend on the starch from the potatoes, so you will want to break some down to get the soup thickness you desire, as well as a creamy texture.
Stir the sour cream and milk together and then stir into pot with about 1/2 the cheese. I didn’t have cheddar cheese that I could actually use (it turned out to be moldy), so I used a 4 cheese blend. I have read of people using all sorts of odds and ends of cheese in this soup and I don’t think it can hurt it. My soup would have had a stronger cheese flavor with the cheddar, but it also might have lessened the flavor of the leeks. You taste buds must be your guide when choosing.
I cooked mine down (about 30-40 minutes on simmer, stirring regularly), and then stirring in the remainder of the cheese right before I served it. I will say it retained the leek flavor and was definitely not as creamy as it could have been had I used the blender, or if I added cream cheese instead of the sour cream. But it was good, hot and hearty and we definitely enjoyed it with the poppy seed homemade bread that I made earlier in the day. I think though if I had to choose, I’d go with the easier and faster creamy potato next time. Much less work and definitely richer tasting.
Don’t forget to garnish with those bacon bits — and extra cheese ~ and if you like it ~ some sour cream!