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Potato-Cheddar Soup

Sautéed leeks are a flavorful base for many soups and stews. For a classic potato-leek soup, simply omit the bacon and the cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bacon slices
  • 1 leek, white portion only, halved, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

Cook the bacon and vegetables
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.

Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the bacon drippings from the pan and return the pan to medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and the broth and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Puree the soup
Increase the heat to medium, add the milk and the 1/2 tsp. pepper and bring just to a simmer.

Using a food processor or blender, process the soup to a smooth puree. Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat to serving temperature. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, crumble the bacon on top and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).