So, I had a bag of Potatoes. And it was St. Patrick's Day. Why not make a Potato Leek soup? Personally, I love it, and we've had it every week since then. So, I hope you enjoy it too!
Potato Leek Soup
2 Bay leaves
10 Black Peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 strips Nitrate Free, High Quality Bacon, chopped
1 Cup Apple Juice
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 1/2 Cups Water
1 to 1 1/4 lbs Potatoes, diced
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
1/2 cup Heavy Cream (Though I've never made it without, I think this is probably optional...)2 tablespoons snipped Chives
Trim the green portions of the leek and, using 2 of the largest and longest leaves, make a bouquet garni by folding the 2 leaves around the bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Tie into a package-shaped bundle with kitchen twine and set aside. (Alternately, tie 2 leek leaves, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme together in a piece of cheesecloth.)
Halve the white part of the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water. 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 apple juice and bring to a boil. Add the bouquet garni, chicken stock, water, potatoes, and salt 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 bouquet garni and puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Stir in the heavy cream. Serve immediately, with some of the snipped chives sprinkled over the top of each bowl of soup. I also cannot eat a meal without cheese. So, I sprinkle cheese on top as well. It's divine. Enjoy!