Leek and Potato Soup W/ Croutons

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READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by hmbnovotny

This recipe is one of Rachel Ray's, I'm posting it here so I can have it with the rest of my faves.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 leeks, trimmed of tough tops, leave 3 to 4 inches of green on white of leek
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups good quality chicken stock (I use 4 c. stock, 2 c. water)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, skin removed
  • 4 slices whole grain French bread, cut into small pieces
  • 13 lb thick slab bacon, 1 (1/2-inch)
  • chives, sliced thin for garnish
  • crusty bread (make your favorite recipe in your bread machine, I make the dough in the machine and transfer to a b)

Directions

  1. Cut leeks in half lengthwise and slice into 1/2-inch pieces. Place leeks in a colander. Separate sliced leeks under cold running water and clean them. Drain well.
  2. Heat a medium soup pot over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, bay leaf and leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Peel potatoes and thinly slice them, adding them to soup pot as you go. Season potatoes with a little salt, add chicken stock (and water if you're using it) to soup pot. Cover soup and bring to a boil. Uncover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are very tender. Break up potatoes to slightly thicken soup. Remove bay leaf.
  3. While soup simmers, rub the inside of a large mixing bowl with the cracked garlic. Slice the bread into small cubes. Add the bread to the bowl, drizzle generously with olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Toss the bread in the bowl to completely coat with oil, and pour onto a baking sheet in 1 layer. Place in the oven and toast until golden, about 6 or 8 minutes.
  4. While croutons bake, cut slab bacon into 1/4-inch slices, making fat matchstick shapes (or regular sliced bacon, cut into quarter inch pieces.) Cook bacon in small nonstick pan over medium high heat. Remove rendered bacon to paper towels.
  5. To serve soup, ladle into bowls and top with bacon, croutons, chives and cracked pepper. Serve with crusty bread on the side.

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