It's still artic here in Cleveland, Ohio and after shoveling out of my 150 foot long driveway and trying to navigate my unplowed deadend street I needed something warm and comforting. This is what I chose and it was the perfect and quickest way to warm up from the inside out.
This recipe is adapted from Emeril’s Potato Leek Soup
Potato Leek Winter Chowder
Ingredients1 large or 2 small leeks, about 1 pound
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon white or black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons real butter
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 to 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, diced
1 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup cream or whole milk
snipped chives to garnish
Trim the green portions of the leek. Using a sharp knife, halve the white part of the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water to rid the leek of any sand. Slice thinly crosswise and set aside.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is very soft and has rendered most of its fat. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the reserved thyme, pepper, bay leaves, chicken stock, potatoes, salt and white pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart and the soup is very flavorful.
Remove the bay leaves and, working in batches, puree only half of the soup the soup in a food processor or blender. (Alternately, if you own an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot.) Stir in the cream and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately, with some of the snipped chives sprinkled over the top of each bowl of soup.