A hearty, earthy soup that will warm you up on a stubbornly cold spring day. The whiskey adds a subtle complexity that seems to bring out all the other flavours.
Feeds 4 – 6
2 – 3 slices of smoked streaky bacon, thinly sliced
1 tsp olive oil
½ tbsp butter
2 – 3 leeks (depending on size), cleaned
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30ml) whiskey
750g white potatoes (unpeeled weight), peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
1L low sodium chicken stock
3 tbsp double cream
Parsley leaves, to garnish
Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the sliced bacon and the olive oil, then cook until the bacon has crisped. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and keep the crisped bacon bits aside until serving.
While the bacon is cooking, slice the leeks. Discard the tough, dark green bit, then finely slice the pale green part and thickly slice the white bit.
Spoon off all but 1 tbsp of the fat in the pan, then add the butter and let it melt. Next add in the leeks with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Lower the heat a little and cook, stirring often, for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the leeks are very soft. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute, then pour in the whiskey. Allow the whiskey to cook away, then add the diced potatoes and chicken stock. Turn up the heat to medium and let the soup bubble away until the potatoes are very tender.
Blend the soup in batches, taking care to ensure it is well blended.
Pour the blended soup into a clean pot (you don’t want any debris interfering with your beautiful, creamy-textured soup) and taste, adjusting the seasoning if required.
Make ahead: Soup can be prepared up to this stage a day in advance. Keep refrigerated.
Just before serving, reheat the soup until it is piping hot, then add the cream and stir to combine. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the crisped bacon bits and some whole parsley leaves. Serve.
Tip: Store any leftovers in an airtight container with a piece of cling film pressed right on the surface of the soup to prevent a skin forming. Reheat gently.