Which of course is Gaelic for…Ireland forever! That’s right, we’re a little over a week away from one of my favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day! Now to most people March 17th means little more than deboucherous pub crawls clad in kelly green and those ridiculous shamrock head bands. But to me, St. Patty’s Day is a fantastic food holiday, filled with lots of memories and family tradtions. I know it’s not evident from my last name, but I’m more than half Irish. And the month of March was always full of homemade Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and of course lots and lots of potatoes. I know I’m jumping the gun a little bit, but I’ve just been getting so excited to make a big Irish feast this Sunday, that I couldn’t help getting a little taste of Ireland in early. Since, this time of year always makes me nostaligic for my mom’s Irish cooking, I decided to make one of her specialties…potato leek soup. My mom makes awesome soups. She loves that their healthy, filling, and a great way to force vegetables on your children. She makes butternut squash soup, veggie soup, clam chowder, you name a soup, Laurie Malinowski can rock it out. But potato leek, well anyone who knows her knows potato leek is her best one.
It’s such a hearty, healthy, fantastic soup. It’s creamy without having so much as a drop of cream in it, it’s got great savory onion flavor, and the leeks give it a little bit of a green color…how festive! I decided I’d indulge in a little decadence and add some bacon to this otherwise low fat soup. I can just imagine my mother wanting to jump through the computer screen the moment she reads this and scold me for taking her heart healthy recipe and bathing it in animal fat. But guess what, I’m a big girl now and I can do what I want, plus let’s be honest there are worse forms of child rebellion. My bacon potato leek soup was deee-lisssh. Sorry Mommy, it was so worth it. Here’s how I made it:
Potato Leek and Bacon Soup
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 leakes, cleaned and chopped (use just the white and light green parts)
3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 pieces
16 oz. chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook bacon in a large pot, remove, drain off half of the remaining fat. Add the chopped leeks and saute until softened. Add the cubed potatoes and chicken broth. Simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Puree with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper. Top with bacon and parsley.