One of the few consolations about winter, to me, is that it’s soup weather. And the absolute favorite at my house is this one, fondly known as “‘tato soup”. I don’t make it quite as frequently as I used to, since we have a bit of carb-watching going on lately, but it’s something I could never completely give up.
I’m trying to remember where this recipe came from – I may have gotten it from a newspaper long ago, but, in any case, I’ve been making this for well over twenty years. It has evolved a bit over time, but I’ve always liked it for its simplicity combined with richness. I also like that I usually have all the ingredients on hand at any given time. This is also the first dish that my son learned and made for himself when he got out on his own.
If you don’t have a leek, feel free to substitute an onion. (My son actually prefers to make it this way). The extra shot of heavy cream is optional, but highly recommended. If you don’t have evaporated milk, I would imagine it would be possible to use whole milk or half and half.
When you break up the potatoes at the end, feel free to mash things finer if you like – we like to have some rustic chunks of potato remaining, but if you like a smoother soup, mash it a little more.
This is a really great soup for lunch on a cold, snowy day.
Potato Bacon Leek Soup
- 6 slices bacon
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into cubes
- 1 leek, white and light green parts, thinly sliced (can substitute one medium onion)
- 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- 3 cups water
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional but recommended)
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- Fry bacon in a skillet until crisp, remove, chop, and place in a medium soup pot.
- Add butter to bacon drippings in skilllet, and heat until melted. Added chopped potatoes and leeks (or onions), salt and pepper lightly, and saute until slightly browned.
- Add potato/leek mixture to bacon in soup pot, add bouillon cubes and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
- With a potato masher, break up potato cubes into smaller pieces, leaving a few larger chunks.
- Add evaporated milk and cream (if using), stir and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.