It was early afternoon and the wind outside was cold and gaining momentum. I heard a loud noise that was quickly followed by another. Some of our chairs were toppled by the strength of the wind. The air was equally cold and quickly turned the remaining snow in our driveway into a hard patch of ice. It was a day meant for staying inside huddled by the fireplace. It was the perfect day for soup.
I told my wife that I was going downstairs to make a batch of soup to keep us warm. I opened up the kitchen curtains to shine some light in and quickly started peeling vegetables. Making soup takes time and can’t be rushed. It’s as much about the process for me as it is the food. Stripping and washing the vegetables and chopping in an almost rhythmic beat.
Some of my strongest memories as a child are of my mom working away in the kitchen and peeling food. I would sit on a stool and watch her wash and cut food, never once taking her eyes off the cutting board. I was always amazed at her ability to peel vegetables. She would work her way around a potato in one full swoop, leaving nothing to waste. I would pick up the disposed peel and gaze at it in amazement. It was purposeful and it was never rushed.
My wife can always pick up the ingredients the moment they hit the pan. The garlic and leeks and onions sauteing away and releasing their aroma. It must know the route off by heart in my house because it always leaves the kitchen and works its way straight up to the room my wife is in. As anxious as I am to get the soup in a bowl on the table, I never speed up the process. Each step needs full attention and every step is an opportunity to add flavour by caramelizing and simmering.
Sunday afternoon is the perfect time for a bowl of soup. It helps fight off the hunger and it warms our bones this time of year. Soup is filling and comforting and a palette pleaser. After it has simmered away for as much time as necessary to enhance the flavours and ingredients, it can hit the bowl with a slice of crusty bread or buttered biscuit.
This recipe is the perfect example of a bowl of soup being savoury and salty. The saltiness from the bacon works so well with the leeks and potatoes and it works as the main at lunch or the start to a great dinner. It was just what we needed on a cold day trapped inside.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Leek, Potato and Bacon Soup
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 garlic, chopped
- 4 strips of bacon, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup leeks, washed and sliced
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1.5 litres of vegetable stock or broth
- 1/2 cup cream
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat and add the garlic, bacon and onion. Stir and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add in the leeks and potatoes and stir. Cover and turn down the heat, cooking for 5 more minutes. Shake the pan from time to time so they don’t stick.
- Add in the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat again and cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Use your immersion blender or add in a food processor in parts until smooth.
- Return to the pan and season and pour in the cream. Stir well.