Thursday, January 9, 2014

Waiter, there's a potato in my soup.

One of the things I love about Winter is all the damn soup. I love soup. I'm pretty sure soup runs through my veins. I dislike the word soup though. It sounds creepy. Hmmm. I wonder why that is? When I was a kid I used to get cans of the Campbells cream of potato and bean and bacon soups all the time. You were suppose to add water or milk and heat them up but I would not add anything and eat them cold out of the can. I like salty. Yummy salt sludge. Now, I can't eat those soups without tasting the chemicals. Those chemicals are still nostalgic though and when I'm sick I crave them. Chicken and stars helps the flu every time. It probably kills the virus with it's salt content.

So now I make my own soups. It's better, cheaper, healthier, yummier, and most likely isn't preserving my internal organs with canned salt glue. In these cold months, I'll make a giant batch of whatever soup and eat it until I start crying because I need to eat something that tastes different. So I'll freeze half of it and have the rest at a later date. Nobody wants dinner time to be "let's play were in prison and eat soup and bread for every meal for the rest of our lives until we die" time. Three days of a soup diet is perfect for me though. Especially when it's one of those soups that you love to death.  "I'll give up whiskey and the ability to walk for this soup." "I'd go blind for more soup." Those kinds of soups are rare but there are a few.

My Leek and Potato Soup with Bacon is one of those soups. I'd kill a nun for this soup. It's that good.
I made like ten gallons of this soup but it only lasted two days. It was like I lived in a potato junkie rehabilitation center. You couldn't say the word potato without somebody crying in a corner.

Leek and Potato Soup with Bacon
1 lb. bacon, diced
2 Tbsp butter
3 large leeks, cut in half lengthwise, washed, and chopped. (Use the white and light green part only. Save the green for stock.)
3 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups seasoned chicken stock
2 cups milk (or half and half)
1 bunch of scallion, thinly sliced
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp cayenne (less if you do not spicy)
In a large pot of well salted water, boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat render the bacon until crispy and browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the rendered fat and set aside on a paper towel. Add the butter and the leeks to the bacon fat and saute until tender. (5-6 minutes)
Add the broth and cooked potatoes to the pot. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or carefully using a regular blender), puree the soup and return to pan (I like mine smooth and creamy but do as you like). Add the milk and cayenne and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The soup should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not too thick. Serve in a bowl and garnish with crispy bacon and scallions. Add hot sauce if you like (I like). Sleep in the soup. Brush your teeth with the soup. Join a soup cult. xoxo