Leeks are giant spring onions (scallions). They must always be washed thoroughly so slice them down the middle and rinse under running water, inspecting the layers for dirt as you rinse. The leaves make an elegant terrine for brunch or canapés and the entire stock, leaves and root, make this soup stand out. Puree half the veggies for a super creamy style.
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 large leeks, washed and sliced thin
2 russet potatoes, diced ½ inch
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock (homemade is best)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup half and half
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
Chopped parsley or scallions for garnish
In a stock pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until browned. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of fat, add leeks and potatoes, cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes more. Add Tabasco then the wine to deglaze the pan. Add the stock and salt and pepper. Simmer until potatoes are very soft, about 30 minutes. At this point, you may puree a third or a half of the veggies and return to pot. Add half and half and thyme, cook over medium heat until heated though. Garnish each bowl with parsley or scallions. Serve with crusty French bread and your favorite salad.