Easy Leek, Potato, and Bacon Soup is one of my all-time favorite meals. I have been making this soup for years. It is so easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. Nothing is better than coming home to a warm bowl of soup on a crisp spring evening.
This soup tastes rich and creamy without any added cream. The secret is to puree the potatoes. If you would like your soup to be a little chunky, only purée half of it.
What part of the leek do you use to make soup?
Spring is almost here which means leeks are in season. Leeks look like overgrown green onions. When purchasing leeks look for ones that are about an inch in diameter and have a long white to pale green shaft.
Typically just the white and light green parts of a leek are eaten. The darker green parts have plenty of flavor and are great for making homemade stock.
As leeks grow, the soil is piled up around them, so that more of the leek is hidden from the sun, and therefore lighter in color and more tender. But this also results in sand and dirt being lodged within the layers inside the leek.
How to clean leeks:
- Rinse the leeks under water to remove visible dirt or sand.
- Cut off the roots and the dark green tops of the leeks and slice the leeks in half lengthwise.
- Chop the leek halves into semi-circles.
- Rinse the chopped leeks in a bowl of cold water. Use your hands to agitate the leeks and dislodge any dirt or sand that may be clinging to them.
- Pour the leeks into a colander to drain.
What are the best potatoes for soup?
Not all potatoes are created equal. Some are better suited for certain tasks in the kitchen than others. When choosing a potato for this soup there are a few characteristics you should look for.
Because we are not using cream, we need a potato that will easily break down and help to thicken the soup while also providing a smooth, creamy, and velvety texture.
Different varieties of potatoes have different starch contents. Starchy varieties do not keep their shape very well and breakdown as they are cooked. Their high starch content also makes them absorbent. This combination of characteristics makes them ideal for thickening this leek and potato soup without using cream.
Starchy varieties of potatoes include:
- Idaho Russet
You could also use potatoes with a medium level of starch. These varieties include:
- Yukon Gold
- Purple Peruvian
For this recipe, I have chosen to use a combination of Idaho Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes. Idaho Russet potatoes will provide the creaminess while the Yukon Gold potatoes insure that there will still be some chunks of potatoes.
I like to set up a toppings bar so that everyone can choose their own toppings for their bowl of soup. Some toppings to offer are:
- Crispy Bacon
- Diced Green Onions
- Shredded Cheese: Cheddar and Gouda are my favorites.
- Sour Cream
My favorite way to serve Leek, Potato, and Bacon Soup is alongside a piece of crusty bread and a side salad. You could also serve it along with a delicious sandwich. My favorite is a turkey club or grilled ham and cheese.
- If you don’t have a stick blender you can also puree the soup in a food processor or blender. If you’re using a blender, purée the soup in batches. Don’t fill the blender more than a third full at a time, and remember to hold down the lid while the blender is going.
- To make this leek and potato soup vegetarian, skip the bacon and increase the butter to 4 tablespoons. Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
If you have leftovers, allow the soup to come to room temperature and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
This soup freezes really well. As a bonus, because there is no dairy you don’t have to worry about the cream separating when frozen.
Allow the soup to come to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container or zip-top bag. Label the container with the contents and date. Then freeze the soup for up to 3 months.
Sometimes there is a little separation in soup once you freeze and defrost it. If this happens, just purée the soup again until smooth.
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