(Apologies to Alton Brown. I read his recipe, and other than leeks and potatoes, rather dismissed it.)
Oh, I also don’t really use recipes per se (so you know this is John, and not Peggy), so these quantities are approximations. This soup is so easy though that you don’t need a recipe, per se…
3 slices of bacon
3-6 leeks (depending on size – the leeks were maybe 1.25-1.5 inches so I used 6 tonight)
5-6 medium potatoes (I used gold potatoes tonight, any boiling potato will do.)
2-4 T Irish butter (really, this stuff is SO good)
2-3 T chicken base (it’s essentially bouillon paste – I no longer use broth of any kind)
1.5 Qt water
salt & pepper to taste (I used no additional salt tonight. There’s plenty in the bacon and chicken base.)
Slice/chop the bacon into little tiny pieces.
Wash the leeks, cut off the green stems and the roots. Slice lengthwise and then slice the rounds finely. Rinse the leeks under plenty of cold water. They tend to get kind of gritty due to the way they’re grown.
Peel and dice the potatoes (always dice before cooking – they’re easier to handle and they cook faster and more uniformly).
In a 6-8 qt soup kettle, melt the butter and saute the bacon until rendered. It doesn’t have to be crisp.
Add the leeks and saute for five or six minutes, until soft.
Add the potatoes, chicken base, and water.
Bring to a boil, turn down and let simmer for fifteen minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup. (The immersion blender is one of the great inventions of the 20th century, even though I maintained for years that we didn’t need one. I was wrong.)
Season to taste – just a good grind or three of pepper us usually enough.
Optionally, a half cup or so of heavy cream makes it just delightfully creamy, but with the bacon in this batch, I passed.
There you have it. Serve with Oyster crackers or Saltines if you’d like, but it’s pretty good all by itself.