Fall and Soup – Potato Cheddar Soup with Bacon

Here is an equation for all of the Math Wiz types out there…

Fall = Soup

When cold weather sets in and the chill hits the bones, I set about making soups, soups and more soups.  Comfort food.  They just work at this time of year. 
I have a go-to list of 2 or 30 soup recipes that I like to revisit from time to time.  One of those comes from the estimable Mr. Puck.  Open his Live, Love, Eat cookbook and turn to page 24 and you will find Hearty Potato-and-Cheddar Soup with Bacon. 

Sound good?
It sure does to me.  Head to the store, get your ingredients and fire up the stove.  Don’t forget a nice bottle of wine and some crusty bread.  Recipe as follows…

·         ¼ lb bacon, chopped
·         4 Tbsp unsalted butter
·         2 small leeks, chopped
·         1 large onion, chopped
·         1 carrot, chopped
·         1 garlic glove, minced
·         ½ cup flour
·         6 cups Chicken Stock
·         3 lbs baking potatoes, 1/2” cubes
·         1 lb sharp cheddar, shredded
·         1 cup heavy cream
·         Salt and pepper
·         Chopped scallions or chives for garnish

Sauté the bacon in the soup pot over medium-high heat.  Remove and set aside.  Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the drippings. 
Add the butter and melt.  Add the leeks, onions, carrot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.  Sprinkle in the flour until the bacon fat is absorbed, stirring continuously.
Add chicken stock, stirring to dissolve the flour.

Add potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender.

Put the shredded cheese into a large mixing bowl.  Ladle in about a quarter of the hot soup liquid and stir until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Add the mixture to the soup pot.
Gradually stir in the heavy cream.  Season to taste with the salt and pepper.  Heat the soup to desired thickness.  Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with scallions or chives.