Baked Potato and leek soup with cheddar and bacon (I did not use the bacon as I wanted the soup to be vegetarian friendly).
Serves 4 (I doubled it and it made a large pot and fed 8 adults and 3 kids)
3 medium, russet potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2.5 cups sliced leeks , rinsed well
2 medium cloves of garlic minced
2 cups vegetable of chicken broth (I used organic low sodium vegetable stock)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 slices bacon, diced (optional)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar (use the sharp cheddar - it makes a difference)
2 Tbs thinly sliced green onions for garnish
1. Bake the potatoes - 375 degree oven. Let cool completely.
2. Melt butter in pot and add leeks and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft - about 10 minutes. Add the broth and 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until leeks are very soft - about 15 -20 mins. (I hurried this part along).
3. Cook bacon in a skillet (if desired) until brown and crisp. Drain and then let cool on paper towel.
4. Cut cooled potatoes lengthwise and roughly scoop out the middle and dice into bite size pieces and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest of the potato (skin and all) and add to the pot with the leeks and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Puree everything in the pot in a blender in small batches. Add more stock or water if it is too thick.
6 Reheat pureed soup gently, stirring often.
7. In a bowl whisk together the milk and sour cream until smooth and then whisk into the soup along with half the cheddar.
8. Stir in the diced baked potato. It should be thick but if you prefer it thinner then add more water or stock.
9. Serve garnished with remaining cheddar, bacon bits and green onion.