I was really excited about making this soup. I had come home from work, changed into my ‘cooking clothes’ (baggy shorts, tshirt held together by threads, hair in crazy bun) and was chopping and mixing and completely comfortable when I discovered that my potatoes were moldy and also trying to grow new potatoes. Whatever, potatoes!
Being angry at your produce for normal biological processes like spoiling and growing mold tends to induce impulse buying at the grocery store. You go in for more potatoes, you come out with potatoes, dark chocolate, your favorite olives, a pound of bacon and a bottle of wine. I’ll show you, moldy potatoes!
Anyway. It’s finally rainy and gloomy here in the ‘sip, something that hasn’t happened in months. (Hopefully) fall is on the way, it’ll start to get cooler, and then cold, and being cozy on the couch with tea (tea might be a euphemism for wine, but whatevs), your cats, and all 7 season of Gilmore Girls will be even more justified because you can’t go outside in the rain anyway. (aside: the closer I get the 30, the more Lorelai’s coffe infused adult world makes sense, and the more I want to lecture Rory. Deep stuff you guys)
This potato soup is the perfect winter/fall/its starting to get cooler outside/crunchy leaves and for the love of Betsy enough with all the pumpkin dishes. It’s potato-y with a hint of spicy and cheese, goes great with crusty bread or a side salad, but it’s not overwhelmed with cream or cheese. It’s also hearty enough to stand on its own, topped with extra pepper and a sprinkling of grated cheese. Its exactly what I wanted, to help transition the kitchen into fall and winter. It makes a lot, enough to feed 8 adults heartily, and possibly more, and it’s waaaay better the second day. Also, it’s important to note that I didn’t peel my potatoes. The skins add more flavor and important things like fiber, plus who has time for that?
6 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used scissors)
1 large or 2 small leeks, chopped small
1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
about 2.5-3 pounds of potatoes, I used a mixture of russet and red new potatoes, scrubbed well and chopped small with the skins on
4-5 carrots, scrubbed well and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, depending on desired level of spice
4 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar
1.5-2 quarts chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of full fat greek yogurt
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
In a large stock pot, heat your olive oil and add bacon pieces. Cook until crispy and well done, but not burnt. remove and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Carefully skim of about 1/2 of the remaining oil, add the onions, leeks and carrots, cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and potatoes, cook for another 5 minutes, salt to taste. Add the spices: nutmeg, pepper flakes, garlic powder, bay leaves, stir well. Add the broth. Whisk together the milk and flour, add that too. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the grated cheese and yogurt, let simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. From here, pulse a few times with an immersion blender, or carefully remove about 1/2 your soup and pulse in a traditional blender. You still want to have some potato chunks mixed in with creamy soup. From here, the soup is ready to serve, but it’s better the longer it simmers and even better then next day. Serve with cracked pepper, bacon bits and extra cheese.