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Potato and Leek Soup with Pancetta

Ingredients

  • 1 large head garlic
  • 2 tsp. olive oil for drizzling over garlic head to roast
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 c. thinly sliced leeks rinse really good to remove all dirt
  • 3 lb. potatoes skin on
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 6-8 slices bacon fried and crumbled (I used some crispy pork belly)
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 1 c. Half & Half
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: Parsley or chives, chopped.

Instructions

  1. Cut the top off the head of garlic exposing all the cloves and drizzle with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and put in 400° oven for 40-45 minutes*. After the garlic is done and cool enough to handle squeeze all the cloves out of the skins and set aside.
  2. To a large soup pot add the 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil and heat on medium until the butter has melted. Add the potatoes and leeks and stir occasionally until they have started to brown and get tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock and garlic. Scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir to loosen any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add in the thyme (stems and all) and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are soft. The thyme leaves will fall off the stems so remove any stems you see and the bay leaves. Using an emulsion blender (or regular blender) add the potato mixture (may have to do in batches if using a regular blender) and blend until smooth. Stir in the Half & Half, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.