The soup-making bug has hit the Schmidt house. Last week I grabbed some leeks from the farmer's market and took a few minutes to make a pot of potato-leek soup. A good source of vitamins A, K, C and the mineral manganese, leeks also offer an impressive array of antioxidants. But aside from the fact it's good for you, this soup just tastes great. Flavored with bacon and topped with cheddar cheese, it's as yummy as a stuffed potato - just slides down easier. 

Fun fact - leeks are one of the national symbols of Wales. 

Potato and Leek Soup

3 leeks
2 T olive oil
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 c dry white wine (I use sherry if I'm out)
5 c chicken stock
4 med potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 bay leaves
1/2 t lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 t thyme
1 c evaporated milk
Cheddar cheese (for garnish)
Chives (for garnish)

Trim off the green portions of the leek. Trim off the roots. Cut the rest of the leek in half. Slice thinly crosswise and place in large bowl, swish in cold water until well cleaned. In large soup pot over medium heat, heat olive oil and add the bacon. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes until bacon is soft. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the spices, chicken stock, potatoes, pepper and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Take out the bay leaves if possible. Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Stir in the evaporated milk. Garnish with cheddar cheese and chives.

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