About a month back I came across the Top Chef University online. I love the show and since Tom Colicchio is involved it couldn’t be too bad. For those of you who live on Mars, Top Chef is a Reality Cooking Competition, with various challenges, like The Apprentice for Foodies. Anyway for $100 couldn’t hurt to try it out, so I did. I have gone through the basics section, and it was just that, kind of like the Dummy Series of books (a reference for the rest of us). Now I am in soups, which I am pretty good at but I got a new recipe, and a different way of making leek and potato.
As anyone who has read my previous post will see this is night and day different. I like my soup French style where texture is important, I like consumes and puréed soups more that rustic ones, but this soup is amongst chowders as one of my few exceptions. This soup is super easy to make as well which is good to make in a short time on a weekday night (now I gave away that secret, my wife is going to have me to make it more often).
So what you will need: (Adapted from Top Chef University)
5 or so strips of bacon cut into lardons. + 2 strips for garnish
1 shallot diced
3 cloves of garlic smashed
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme (leaves only)
2 medium leeks sliced (white parts only)
2 russet potatoes ¼ inch cube
2 Cups cooking cream
2 cups Chicken stock
2 green onions tops only sliced on bias (Garnish)
Heat pot you are doing soup in to medium heat and start cooking bacon for garnish. Half way through add lardons and slowly brown. When the strips are cooked, remove and place on a paper towel to soak up the extra grease. Add shallots, and leeks and let soften, then add garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Add the potatoes (a little oil or butter if potatoes are sticking) and cook for 3-5 minutes before adding the cream. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes to reduce the cream, add stock and simmer until potatoes are fork tender. S&P to taste and garnish with bacon and green onion.
You can change it up to your tastes, maybe add croutons or hot sauce, but it is fine the way it is. Enjoy…