Thursday, May 12, 2005

Baked Potato and Leek Soup with Cheddar and Bacon

Baked Potato and Leek Soup with Cheddar and Bacon (Adapted from Food and Wine)

2 russet potatoes (about 1 pound)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-1/2 cups sliced leeks
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
4 thick slices bacon, diced and cooked until crisp
4 ounces grated sharp white Cheddar
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

Preheat the oven to 375

Pierce potatoes with a fork. Place in the oven on the rack and bake until very tender, about 1 hour. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

In a large saucepan, melt butter medium-low heat. Add the leeks - season with salt and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Once the potatoes have cooled, cut one of them in half lengthwise. Scoop the flesh in one piece from each half. Cut the flesh into 1/2" cubes and set aside. Coarsely chop the skin and the entire remaining potato. Add the skin and entire chopped potato to the leeks. Purée the soup in a blender until very smooth. Return soup back to the pot and reheat over medium low.

In a small bowl, whisk together milk and sour cream. Add the milk mixture, along with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the diced potato. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve each bowl with the remaining Cheddar, the bacon and green onions.

Makes about 4 servings.

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