I find that this time of year is tough to discover new recipes that embody and celebrate the season's fresh produce, due to the fact that we are inbetween. In a way it's warming up too much for soup, but it's still early to find most spring vegetables at the market. This week, I decided to combine both ideas and make a creamy/hearty winter soup filled with potatoes and spring leeks. I made the decision based on the predicted snow storm that was supposed to hit and shake up the DC area. As many snowfalls this year, we ended up with a wet slushy mess that soon turned into rain. After 24 hours of precipitation, the 50 degree weather dried up any white remains and I knew before it started that this was potentially my last chance to get in any rich comfort food that I would miss over the summer.
I've always been a fan of baked potato soup. It actually reminds me of my engagement in New Hampshire when we prepared the dish for family after skiing all day at Attitash Mountain. Nothing is better than heavy cream, potatoes and bacon topped with cheddar cheese and chives. For this soup, leeks are used instead of regular yellow or spanish onions. I learned that leeks are a member of the onion family, but have a sweeter and more subtle flavor. I really enjoyed them in this soup and I actually used them again in Ina Garten's Spring Green Risotto last night. Everything I read and watch on the food network reminds the cook to always wash leeks thoroughly, due to the build up of sand and dirt in between the leaves. The best part about this soup is you do not have to use a blender or food processor!
The recipe originally comes from a website called Friends and Farms that I discovered earlier in the week. My father in law told me about this after receiving an email at work, which described the concept of using food baskets to deliver fresh farm products to your home. The idea is to bring the farm "closer to you" and if you go to the site, they also update recipes using meat, poultry, vegetables etc. that are in season. I originally was going to use Barefoot Contessa's recipe, but I decided that I didn't want to make the extra trip to a specialty store for creme fraiche. I'm so glad I tried the Friends and Farms soup, because it satisfied my tastebuds to the fullest and I now am content to move on to more spring food choices.
If it's not going to snow, we might as well bring on the warm weather! I'm so ready to play in the sun with my sweet boy:)
via Friends and Farms
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 leeks, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
Sal t and Pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan or stockpot, bring potatoes and chicken broth to a boil.
- Cook until potatoes are tender.
- Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of grease and set aside
- Sauté the leeks and garlic in the frying pan with the reserved bacon grease 8 to 10 minutes.
- When the potatoes are tender, stir in the fried leeks and garlic, heavy cream and bacon. Stir to blend and remove from heat. Serve hot.