I bought these leeks on Monday to make soup for St. David's Day but didn't get to it. I made it yesterday and it was super good!
The leek is another emblem of Wales. I guess (according to the internet), leeks are often worn as decoration on St. David's Day in Wales. Ummm, ok. I just decided to make soup with mine.
There are a few theories as to why the leek is associated with Wales and St. David's Day. It appears that it has something to do with wearing leeks on the battlefield about 1,500 years ago. The most comprehensive information I found about the leek's connection to Wales is here: http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/Wales-History/TheLeek.htm
So, anyway, I made soup. And it was good. Viv said it was her favorite soup ever, "because it's so tasty!"
I didn't really have a recipe, I just looked at a few online and made up my own. It's something roughly like this:
Potato Leek Soup
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used Yukon Gold but I have a feeling a less waxy potato might work better, like a Russet - ?)
2 big leeks, sliced in about 1/2 inch pieces, rinsed thoroughly to get rid of sand and dirt
bacon (5 or 6 slices? I'm not really sure how much I used because I was using bacon ends and pieces, chopped - sometimes you can buy the ends and pieces at the supermarket all boxed up and it's a LOT cheaper than buying regular bacon - keep it in the freezer for seasoning soups and such)
1 tablespoon butter
7 cups chicken stock (I actually used 7 cups water and 7 boullion cubes)
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the chopped bacon pieces until crispy; remove bacon and leave fat in saute pan. Add sliced leeks and tablespoon butter and cook for a while until the leeks are super soft and maybe starting to get caramelized a bit - maybe 20 minutes?
Put the chicken broth, potatoes and cooked leeks in a soup pot and boil until potatoes are very soft. Actually, I suppose you could do this all in one soup pot if it's a heavy-bottomed pot, suitable for sauteeing bacon and then letting the leeks cook down for a while. That would save on cleanup.
Once potatoes are totally cooked, puree soup in batches in a blender (I suppose a food processor would work and an immersion stick blender would be awesome - I so want one). Try not to over process as I think it makes the soup a bit gluey.
Top with crispy bacon bits (if you haven't, ahem, eaten them all by the time the soup is done). Serve with crusty bread. Super yummy.
We had some leftovers for lunch today and Vivian tipped up her bowl to drink out every last drop - "because it's so tasty!"