Julia Child has definitely been at the center of my cooking interest for the past couple of months. It's hard not to be drawn into the aura of Julia. The first recipe in her Mastering the Art of French Cooking is for Potage Parmentier, Potato and Leek Soup. It didn't sound terribly exciting. But then I accidently stumbled onto a food blog (www.thehungrymouse.com) that focuses on guiding you through recipes with visual images. One of the currently featured recipes on this blog is her take on Julia's classic, and the photographs to lead you through the preparation. By the time I made it to the bottom of the pictorial, my mouth was watering for the soup. It didn't hurt that the weather had suddenly turned cold, and soup was my top choice for dinner. Plus, the ingredient list is quite short, and I don't think there could be an easier soup recipe.
So, here is my take on a combination of Julia's recipe, and The Hungry Mouse version, plus a few pictures to entice you.
Visit The Hungry Mouse, and have a look. I can't wait to try the cheesecake recipe!
And, by the way, this soup is truly delicious.
Creamy Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup with Parmesan Cheese Garnish
2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 slices of thick bacon, cut in half longwise, and then diced
3 cups sliced leeks, one-fourth inch rings (white part of 2-3 leeks)
3 cups white potatoes that have been peeled and diced (last joint of ring finger size)
7 cups water
1 T sea salt
2 tsp. Dried minced Thyme, or 1 T fresh Thyme leaves, minced
One-fourth tsp. Pepper
3 T butter
One-half cup heavy cream
1 T Cognac for each bowl, optional
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded, for garnish
Add the olive oil to your soup pot over medium heat. Then add the diced bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned.
Remove most of the bacon drippings from the pot and discard, leaving about a tablespoon in the pot.
Add the leeks, stirring to coat, and cook for several minutes.
Remove soup from heat, and with a stick blender, puree soup.
Return soup to low heat.
Add pepper, butter and cream to soup and stir until heated through.