Potato Leek Chowder
Summer is starting to fade. Crisp autumn days are quickly approaching. We spent this past weekend at our little cottage in the middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin. As a reminder of the season, the temperatures were in the 50’s when we started our Saturday. However the sky was blue and there were no clouds to be found anywhere and we knew it was a perfect day to visit our favorite farmers market in Elkhart Lake.
When we arrived at the market, soup was on my mind, no doubt because of the cooler weather. As we walked around clutching our market-fresh hot coffee, I let the fresh produce talk to me at each stand we passed. The first thing that I laid my eyes on were gorgeous leeks. Even though I have never cooked with them, I knew that they would be a wonderful base for the soup that I was so craving. As we continued to walk around, more beautiful produce appeared, fresh baby red potatoes, onions, lush and succulent sweet corn. I knew that this soup was going to be just the ticket.
Back at the cottage I surveyed the pantry and refrigerator. White wine, heavy cream, shredded cheddar cheese and chicken stock were all placed on the counter, patiently awaiting their turn to bathe in the stock pot with the leeks and potatoes. Even more, I knew that I hit jackpot when I found bacon hiding in the deli drawer of our fridge. As the bacon started to fry, vegetables were chopped and sautéed, wine was opened, some was drank (don’t judge me), and the soup quickly took shape. By the end of the afternoon I exceeded my expectations on this soup. I can’t wait for fall to officially show up so that I can come up with even more new soup ideas and unless Dan has his Nikon surgically removed from his body, you can bet we will be sharing them with you. -Scott
- 2 leeks chopped
- 1/2 lb baby red potatoes diced
- 1/2 white onion chopped
- 3/4 cup carrots grated
- 2 ears sweet corn fresh
- 5 cloves garlic finally chopped
- 1/2 pound bacon chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 oz cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tsp Ground Sage
- 1 tsp Rosemary
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- dash or two hot sauce optional
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Chop bacon and place in stock pot. Cook until bacon is crisp.
Remove bacon and drain bacon grease, reserving a small amount in stock pot and placing bacon on paper towel to cool.
Add white onion and garlic to stock pot and cook until onion softens and becomes translucent.
Next, add the leeks and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes.
Add white wine and continue to cook leeks until the leeks soften.
Add chicken stock, potatoes, sage, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Bring mixture to a boil.
Cover stock pot and reduce heat to a simmer.
In a sauté pan, or on the grill, grill sweet corn until the ears of corn have browned and caramelized. If you are using a sauté pan, then turn heat on stove to high and rotate all sides of the corn until they have browned.
Using a knife, remove the corn from the cob.
Add corn to the stock pot, reserving some to garnish on top of the soup when served.
Once the potatoes are cooked, take a potato masher and mash the potatoes to the desired consistency.
Add grated carrots and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes to allow them to soften slightly.
Stir in the heavy cream and hot sauce.
Place 6 ounces of cheese into the soup and stir. The remaining cheese will be used to garnish the soup.
Serve soup in bowl and garnish with bacon, corn and cheese.