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Verses from my Kitchen: Leek, Potato & Bacon Soup

February 14, 2011

Leek, Potato & Bacon Soup

It was early afternoon and the wind outside was cold and gaining momentum. I heard a loud noise that was quickly followed by another. Some of our chairs were toppled by the strength of the wind. The air was equally cold and quickly turned the remaining snow in our driveway into a hard patch of ice. It was a day meant for staying inside huddled by the fireplace. It was the perfect day for soup.

I told my wife that I was going downstairs to make a batch of soup to keep us warm. I opened up the kitchen curtains to shine some light in and quickly started peeling vegetables. Making soup takes time and can't be rushed. It's as much about the process for me as it is the food. Stripping and washing the vegetables and chopping in an almost rhythmic beat.

Some of my strongest memories as a child are of my mom working away in the kitchen and peeling food. I would sit on a stool and watch her wash and cut food, never once taking her eyes off the cutting board. I was always amazed at her ability to peel vegetables. She would work her way around a potato in one full swoop, leaving nothing to waste. I would pick up the disposed peel and gaze at it in amazement. It was purposeful and it was never rushed.

My wife can always pick up the ingredients the moment they hit the pan.  The garlic and leeks and onions sauteing away and releasing their aroma. It must know the route off by heart in my house because it always leaves the kitchen and works its way straight up to the room my wife is in. As anxious as I am to get the soup in a bowl on the table, I never speed up the process. Each step needs full attention and every step is an opportunity to add flavour by caramelizing and simmering.

Sunday afternoon is the perfect time for a bowl of soup. It helps fight off the hunger and it warms our bones this time of year. Soup is filling and comforting and a palette pleaser. After it has simmered away for as much time as necessary to enhance the flavours and ingredients, it can hit the bowl with a slice of crusty bread or buttered biscuit.

This recipe is the perfect example of a bowl of soup being savoury and salty. The saltiness from the bacon works so well with the leeks and potatoes and it works as the main at lunch or the start to a great dinner. It was just what we needed on a cold day trapped inside.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

Leek, Potato and Bacon Soup

The Goods:
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 garlic, chopped
  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup leeks, washed and sliced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup cream
  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat and add the garlic, bacon and onion. Stir and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add in the leeks and potatoes and stir. Cover and turn down the heat, cooking for 5 more minutes. Shake the pan from time to time so they don't stick.
  2. Add in the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat again and cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Use your immersion blender or add in a food processor in parts until smooth.
  3. Return to the pan and season and pour in the cream. Stir well.
  4. Serve with toasted bread on the side and garnish with fresh herbs and/or creme fraiche.

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At February 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM , Blogger Kim Kelly said...

Beautiful pictures!

At February 14, 2011 at 4:07 PM , OpenID ravienomnoms said...

What a beautifully written post! This soup looks really tasty as well :-)

At February 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM , Blogger Wilde in the Kitchen said...

This soup sounds delicious and I love your dishes! Thanks for sharing this story, it was written so well.

At February 14, 2011 at 5:04 PM , Blogger Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

best soup ever. nice photos!

At February 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thank you Kim! Coming from someone who always takes such lovely pictures, it's a great compliment!

Ravie, thank you! Cooking and writing is such a release. I appreciate it!

Ha! Thanks Vicki! Eveerybody seems to like the dishes I use. Thank you for the comment.

Thank you Brie! I feel the same some days!

At February 14, 2011 at 7:00 PM , Blogger All That's Left Are The Crumbs said...

This soup looks delicious. I am embarrassed to admit that until last Saturday I had never cooked a leek before. I will have to get more now so that I can try this soup.

At February 14, 2011 at 7:04 PM , Blogger Sippity Sup said...

You write so visually! I can see you at the sink peeling away. I can imagine your wife in another part of the house. The two of you separate rooms but connected by the same experience. GREG

At February 15, 2011 at 1:32 AM , Blogger Shari said...

Such lovely photography.

Shari from www.goodfoodweek.blogspot.com

At February 15, 2011 at 6:47 AM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thank you Felice! I didnt cook with leeks for the longest time. Im glad I do now!

At February 15, 2011 at 6:48 AM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Greg, I really appreciate that. Thank you!

Shari, thank you so much!

At February 15, 2011 at 8:55 AM , Blogger Peggy said...

This is a beautiful soup! I'm sure it was a great little Sunday afternoon bite!

At February 15, 2011 at 8:57 AM , Blogger Carolyn said...

Saw this on foodgawker, it looks so good. Love the addition of bacon in the traditional leek and potato. ANd can I say how gorgeous those bowls are???

At February 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM , Blogger Wendy Lewicki said...

You are a beautiful writer, a wonderful cook and an amazing husband.
Keep up the great work!! I love you. xoxo


At February 15, 2011 at 11:59 AM , Blogger Diethood.com said...

Apart from that delicious bowl of yumminess, your photos are freakin' gorgeous! I'm drooling.

At February 15, 2011 at 12:36 PM , Blogger darardh said...

You make it sound so quick n delicious, better go make it now, lucky I have all the ingredients!
your friend

At February 16, 2011 at 10:00 AM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thank you! I'm glad you liked them!!

Dara, I try! Let me know if you make it.


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