It is one of the undeniable facts of life: water is wet, the sun will rise in the morning and everything is better with bacon; it’s rich umami – even when you’re not even clear where it is in the dish – is always obvious, and this soup is no exception.
I’ve really gotten into making my own soups from scratch recently – we’ve always been a family that has soup as a go to for a quick meal, but I was getting tired of cartons of soup that varied in quality and increasingly had a list of stabilizers and preservative that felt unnecessary for allegedly ‘fresh’ food. So if you’re getting into home made soups too – then this recipe is a great place to start as it’s simple to make, freezes well and requires no effort in thickening as the magic starch of the potato does all the heavy lifting for you.
Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup
Like most soups that you’re going to process in your blender this doesn’t require a whole lot of prep work, roughly slice and rinse your leek, cut your onion up into chunks and do the same with your potatoes – I’ve even done this with washed unpeeled potatoes so don’t feel you need to be precious. If you’re using whole rashers of bacon trim it into small pieces or if you’re using lardons your prep work is all but done right now.
In a little olive oil fry your bacon until it’s starting to crisp leaving a nice fond on the bottom of your pan, when you reach that stage tumble in all of your veg and fry it in the bacon fat for a couple of minutes over a medium to high heat, just until the onion and the leek start to soften a bit and the edges of the potatoes have taken on a little color.
Pour your stock over the veg, add a good twist of black pepper and a little salt: there should be enough stock to cover everything, but only just. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the temperature to a simmer, clamp on a lid and let it cook for at least 25 to 30 minutes, at this point give it a taste and add additional pepper and salt to your taste, leave the lid on and allow to cool to a safe enough temperature to decant to your food processor.
I’ve found that this soup comes together better if you use a food processor’s liquidizer jug rather than an immersion stick blender – if that’s all you’ve got no worries – it’ll taste just fine, but the final product just won’t be as smooth. Once blended you can eat immediately with a suitable hearty crusty bread.
If you’re not already onto your second bowl, this soup also stores really well, either pop it in the fridge for a few days or in a bag in the freezer it’ll keep well for weeks or pressure canned for months and months in a cool dark cupboard.
Serves 8. Or freeze in batches for a meal for 2 or 4 that’s ready in 10 minutes
Going the extra Mile
This is perfectly good as is, but if you want to make it look nice and add a little texture then try cooking up some extra cubes of potato and bacon to garnish, or if you’re feeling particularly indulgent a swirl of fresh cream will take this to the next level.
- 1¼ lbs starchy white potatoes (Maris Piper/King Edwards will do)
- 1 lbs leeks
- 1 large whole onion
- ½ lbs bacon or lardons
- 3 pints vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- To taste salt and freshly ground black pepper
Photo Credit: Neil A. Evans © 2020
Photo Location: At Home, Bankside, London, England.