Baked Potato and Leek Soup with Cheddar and Bacon (and Beer)

Baked potato soup

Yesterday was quite a day here in Ottawa. I’m not here to be political, so all I will say is that on some days you crave something comforting and warm and yesterday was one of those days.

Here is a delicious recipe for Baked Potato and Leek Soup which was exactly what a day like yesterday called for.

Potatoes, cheese and sour cream

Soup cooking on the stove

6 medium potatoes
2 tbsp butter
2-1/2 cups leeks, chopped (about 3 medium leeks; white and light green parts only)
4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup beer
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Scrub potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Set them directly on oven rack and bake until very tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 1/2 hours. Set aside and let cool.

2. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, beer, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the leeks are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf and rosemary stem.

3. Meanwhile, fry bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. Chop or crumble.

4. Cut one or two potatoes in half, scoop out flesh, dice and set aside. This will add body and texture to the soup (if you’d prefer an entirely smooth soup, skip this step).

5. Chop remaining potatoes and skins and add to the pot. Purée the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Whisk together the milk and sour cream and then stir this into the soup, along with 1 cup of cheddar and the diced potato. Heat and stir until the cheese is melted and combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the remaining cheese and bacon.

Serves 4.

Adapted from Fine Cooking.

Baked potato soup

Potatoes: Roots and Shoots Farm; Leeks, garlic and rosemary: our garden; Bacon: Sasloves Meat Market; Bread: Art Is In Bakery.


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