After a long week of too much sugar, lots of baking, and late nights finishing projects, I had no intention of accomplishing anything on this snowy Sunday. All I wanted was a big bowl of something savory and hot. French onion soup is one of my favorite soups but I didn't have enough onions and I wasn't about to take three kiddos out in the snow just for onions.
I settled on trying a new recipe and began searching for a potato-leek soup. I'm particular about texture and I didn't want a pureed soup, so I thought this Food Network Potato-Leek Soup Recipe recipe was perfect because only have was pureed and the other half was left chunky.
First, as always, let's take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the ingredients. Let me introduce the leek. If you've never used leeks just think of them as a giant green onion.
Also, if you haven't used leeks before you should know that these little suckers are dirty. Typically you want to cut off the bottom (roots) and clean up the top, still leaving plenty of the green part. Then slice them in half and rinse, rinse, rinse. Take care in peeling the layers and really getting all the hidden dirt out, because there is a lot.. seriously... a lot.
I also wanted to slice one leek into rings to fry up for a crispy topping. I sliced them then broke apart the rings and rinsed them thoroughly.
I dredged the rings in flour seasoned with paprika, salt, and pepper. Then, set them aside until I was ready to fry them.
To begin the soup, start by cooking 4-5 slices of bacon until they start to crisp up. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon the drain the fat (leaving about a tablespoon in the pan).
Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan and add the leeks and garlic.
Cook the leeks down for about 5 minutes until they are soft and tender.
Add chicken broth (I used stock), water, potatoes, salt, and pepper and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Remove about half of the soup and either puree it in a blender, or use an immersion blender. I removed half, pureed what was in the pan, then added the 'chunky' soup back in.
Garnish soup with croutons, crispy leeks, bacon, and parsley.