Creamed Leek and Potato Soup -Vellutata di Porri e Patate
Creamed Leek and Potato Soup is a delicate dish perfect to serve at any occasion as the cooler months of the year approach. Not only delicious and easy to prepare, but also incredibly velvety in texture. To satisfy hungry mouths simply combine diced potatoes and leeks and serve with crunchy homemade croutons and crisp bacon. For a perfectly delicious vegetarian dish simply omit the bacon. Let's get started!
Remove the dark top leaves of the leeks. Cut each leek in half longways. Next cut the halves into thin half circle strips, as shown in the video. Rinse them repeatedly in water to remove any possible sand. Place in a colander and set aside. Set some of the leeks aside for garnish. Simply boil them for a few minutes, drain and set on a paper towel.
Lay the strips of bacon on a preheated pan and transfer into the preheated oven. Once the top of the bacon becomes golden brown, flip each strip over and allow the other side to brown as well. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Crumble the bacon when cooled. Reserve a small amount of the bacon grease for the veggies and the croutons.
Dice the onion, cube the potatoes and mince the garlic.
Add a small amount of the bacon grease to the preheated pot, as well as a drizzle of olive oil.
Sauté the onion first until translucent. Add the garlic and allow to sauté with the onion.
Place the leeks in with the onion and garlic. Give everything a good stir, and transfer the pan into the oven allowing all the ingredients and flavors to marry for about 7 minutes. When the leeks begin to very slightly caramelize and wilt, pour in the hot broth and water, as well as the cubed potatoes.
Reduce the heat of the oven to 375°F - 190°C.
Season with salt and pepper, and once again give everything a stir, cover the pot with the lid, and simmer inside the oven for an additional 20 minutes.
In the meantime prepare the croutons by cubing slices of day old bread. Place the cubed bread in the same pan where the bacon was fried. Drizzle additional olive oil over the bread, as well as salt to taste. Give everything a good stir and place into the oven to brown. Keep an eye on the croutons, as they turn dark very quickly. Remove from the oven when golden brown and perfectly crunchy.
Once the soup has simmered, remove from the oven and purée with an immersion blender until smooth.
If the creamed soup needs thickening, simply mix together the butter and flour into a smooth ball. Add a portion of this paste to the creamed soup making sure to mix with a whisk. Simmer over medium heat. Do this until the soup reaches your preferred thickness. Place the rest into the refrigerator for future use.
Plate the creamed soup and garnish by topping it with the crumbled bacon, croutons, additional leeks that have been previously boiled, and thin slices of cayenne pepper. Finally top everything off with a nice drizzle of olive and serve immediately. Enjoy!