With temperatures dropping way below freezing tonight, I reckoned it was time to make a good, thick, hearty winter soup to warm us up. It's turned out the best of its kind I've ever made.
LEEK AND POTATO SOUP WITH HATCH CHILE SALSA
You will need:
- 3 leeks, large, trimmed, cleaned and sliced;
- 6-8 potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), peeled and diced moderately small, sufficient to fill a mixing bowl to the same height as the sliced leeks;
- Half a cup of bacon bits, or three rashers of bacon, fried until crisp and then crumbled;
- Four cups of chicken broth (Miss D. and I prefer to mix it ourselves using Better Than Bouillon);
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup (to taste) 505 Southwestern Hatch Valley Green Chile Salsa (or equivalent, but the 505 is the tastiest I've yet found - those with stronger palates can add more, if they wish);
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder or minced garlic (your preference);
- 1/4 cup parsley;
- 2 tbsp. oil;
- Salt and pepper to taste. (I used kosher salt and Tone's Six Pepper seasoning.)
- In a large saucepan, place the oil, sliced leeks and bacon bits. Sauté for 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the diced potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a light boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the salsa, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- If you wish, you can purée the soup lightly using an immersion blender. I prefer it chewy, with lumps in it. Serve with grated cheese to sprinkle over your bowl, sour cream, and a nice loaf of your favorite bread.
It's dee-licious. Enjoy!
(If you don't like the added bite of green chile salsa, try replacing it with 1/2 cup port or sherry. That adds body and flavor, without the burn. You can also add a cup of half-and-half or heavy cream to smooth out the chile burn, if you're so inclined. I prefer sour cream for that purpose.)