To prep the bacon, remove from package but do not separate slices. Slice the bacon in half. Then take each half and slice lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips. Then turn the strips and slice them into 1/2 inch pieces. This will give you a nice mixture of different sizes.
Trim your leek stalks leaving only the white and light portion of each stalk, about 5 - 6 inches long. Cut in half length wise, and wash the stalks out carefully, as grit sometimes get between the leaves. Once clean, slice them lengthwise again twice then slice width-wise so that you are left with a pile of leeks in 1/2" to 3/4" squares. Set aside.
Peel and wash your potatoes. A rough peel is fine, I like to take all the skin off for soup, but whatever suits you. Cut the potatoes up into half inch cubes and set aside.
Take your soup pot and begin to fry the bacon over medium heat. Fry the bacon pieces until they're brown and starting to crisp up. Carefully drain out all but a few tablespoons of the fat. Add the butter to the bacon and melt.
Now add the leeks and begin to sweat, still at medium heat, turning frequently. Continue to saute leeks until clear and just beginning to turn golden in colour, about 8-10 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, thyme and celery seed, the half bay leaf, and all the potatoes, and stir to coat the everything with the herbs and spices, bacon fat and butter. Continue to stir frequently for about 2 minutes.
Add chicken broth, stir well, bring to a simmer then lower heat and cover, simmering until potatoes are soft, about 15 - 20 minutes.
Once the potatoes are done, get a bowl, and use a slotted spoon to pull out about half of the potatoes. You will get lots of leeks and bacon with the potatoes too, and that's what you want. You can adjust the chunkiness of your soup here. If you want it chunkier, just take out about 1/3 of the potatoes. For a creamier soup, take out 2/3 or even most of the potatoes.
Using an immersion wand blender, whiz what you've left into the pot until all the large chunks are gone. As you blend the soup will become naturally thicker and creamier because of the potatoes. Again, you can adjust the creaminess of your soup by blending less or more as you desire.
Return the potatoes you took out back into the soup and add the cream, and stir. Adjust your salt and pepper to taste and bring back to a simmer. Mix the milk and corn starch. Once the soup is back up to a simmer add the milk starch mixture and stir into soup. Cover and let simmer for 5 more minutes, then turn the heat off and let stand for 1 hour, or up to 2 hours.
The yield is 6 - 8 bowls.
Let the soup sit for at least an hour, two is better, before serving. This gives the soup time to marry all those flavours, especially the smoke from the bacon.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (1586g)|
|Recipe Makes: 8 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 334 (53%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 37.2g||50 %|
|Saturated Fat 16.5g||83 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 14.1g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 3.3g|
|Cholesterol 79.2mg||24 %|
|Sodium 2611.2mg||90 %|
|Potassium 2113.2mg||56 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 49.9g||15 %|
|Dietary Fiber 10.2g||41 %|
|Sugars, other 39.7g|
|Protein 24.2g||35 %|
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Calories per serving: 630
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