Here is a lovely and satisfying soup recipe for the deep winter months. It’s always welcomed by the community here at Sterling when the temperature drops for extended periods of time. Aside from the fresh herbs, which may be a challenge to get locally(you may decide to use locally dried herbs preserved from past growing seasons), all ingredients should be available in our area. There are many farms that stock their storage areas in the late fall to get the Northeast Kingdom through the winter with fresh food.
1)It’s all about cooking the potatoes until they are just done. Undercooked, you’re puree may not be as smooth as you’d like. Overcooked, the consistency will get gummy, and the complex carbohydrates that provide nutrients will transform into simple sugars.
2)The intention of this recipe is to make a clean tasting, white colored soup with a velvety consistency. That’s why there are notes about not browning the leeks and onions, wiping out the pot from bacon bits that may burn on the bottom of the pot, etc.
3)Keep in mind that as the soup sits, it will thicken, so you may want to make the soup a little thinner than you’d like at first.
4) Also…try not to break your cream by heating it too much.
5) Cook with love. Be present with your soup. This is your time to nourish yourself and your loved ones. Enjoy yourself.
For about 1 gallon of soup you’ll need:
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 lbBacon, sliced to 1/4 inch thick
1lb 8oz. Leeks finely chopped. White parts mostly
6oz.Onions finely chopped
3lb Non-Waxy Potatoes peeled, medium diced
3 quarts Veggie or Chicken Stock
a dash Ground White Pepper
24 fl. Oz. Half and Half
2oz. Chives snipped
1/4 cup Thyme leaves picked and minced
- Heat oil in medium sized soup pot.
- Add bacon, and cook until crispy.
- Remove bacon from pot, and strain out the bacon fat.
- Set bacon aside for now.
- Wipe out the little bacon bits from the pot.
- Add bacon fat back into the pot, sweat the leeks and onions gently over medium heat. Try not to brown them.
- On high heat, add potato, 3/4ths of the stock, salt, white pepper, and half of the thyme.
- Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the other half of the thyme.
- Puree soup in a blender, food mill, or with a hand blender.
- Return the puree to your soup pot. You may want to rinse your soup pot to remove any unblended pieces.
- Add the rest of the stock to your desired consistency.
- With heat on super low, stir in the half and half, and add the bacon back in.
- Adjust flavor with salt, white pepper, thyme if needed.
- Garnish with chives. ENJOY!