Saturday, November 22, 2008


The universe was taunting me yesterday.

I had to take my Environmental students outside to make some measurements at the forest buffer surrounding our stream to determine if it is sufficient.

It started snowing 5 minutes before my first section. Not a few small flakes, but full white out flurry. In Maryland. In November. When even my relatives back in the Northeast haven't really had snow yet. So we went out in the snow, slipped and slid and almost had a couple of kids in the water. Came back in, feet soaked, hair wet, and thoroughly chilled, and it instantly stopped snowing. Of course.

Then the sun comes out and all the fallen snow melts away. It's supposed to stay warmer. But when 7th period rolls around, it starts up again, even thicker than before. So shoes get sloshier, banks are slippier, and once again, as we walk inside, it stops snowing.

Well fine. If the universe is laughing at me I can laugh back. It's suceeded in chilling me to the bone. What it didn't count on is my secret weapon. A thick, creamy, heartwarming and oh so filling loaded potato soup. So hah! You may have won the battle, but you lost the war!

Loaded Golden Potato Leek Soup

4 slices thick cut hickory smoked bacon
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 leeks - white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced thin
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2.5 - 3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin
8 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 parmesan rinds
1/2 cup eggnog (yes - eggnog! heavy cream would work too)
1/3 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

For serving;
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped scallions
sour cream
crumbled bacon

Fry bacon in the bottom of a large stockpot until crisp. Remove and save for topping. Add butter to bacon fat, then saute leeks until soft. Add seasonings and potatoes, then stock. Bring to a boil. Add bay leaves and rinds and simmer until potatoes are really soft and falling apart.

Remove bay leaves and rinds. Use a hand blender to blend to the desired consistency (I like it still a little chunky). Bring back to a simmer just long enough that it gets really thick. Remove from heat, stir in eggnog, sour cream and season to taste.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of bacon, cheese and scallions. Chase away the cold!


Heather said...

mmm. looks delicious! i love baked potato soup. it is so wonderfully warming on cold days! we got a little snow, here, too, in arlington - although not as much. it was more so just enough to taunt me into wanting more... which we did not get!

Chocolate Shavings said...

I just made potato and leek soup a couple days ago
Your toppings sound great - I am definitely trying the bacon and scallion combo next time!

Amber said...

Potato soup is so comforting in the winter. Egg nog? Interesting and where did you come up with that idea? It snows here every 20-30 years but Yosemite National Park is about 2 hours away and it is so beautiful there. I really thing everyone should visit it at least once. Half Dome is a really big rock. A REALLY big rock. I love all the additions to your soup. Sort of like a baked potato on steroids.

kellypea said...

This looks and sounds so yummy. I'd love to try it. So many of the potato & leek soup recipes I've tried are sort of meh. This has me wishing it was on the menu tonight instead of the cranberry beans I'm soaking...

gaga said...

What, that's one loaded soup! It looks wonderful and perfect for the holidays.

Kevin said...

What an amazing soup!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

That is one DAMN good looking soup - That is my idea of a cold rainy day - sit by the fire meal!!! WOW looks great

Julie said...

That looks like the ultimate comfort food. I have gobs of turkey broth now and I think I might put it too good use in this soup :)

Simone said...

I have tagged you in a blog chain, here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

cck said...

This looks amazing! I love leeks and am always looking for new recipes - thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'm in heaven just imagining how it tastes.

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