Smoky Potato Leek Soup combines a variety of farm style sliced creamy potatoes, garden leeks, smoked bacon and serrano pepper.
What makes this Smoky Potato Leek Soup different from the rest? It’s the way we cut the potatoes in a rustic farm style fashion, the addition of earthy leeks in place of onions and the serrano pepper for that Out West flare. Using a variety of potatoes adds to the texture of this soup. Russet potatoes are standard and give the starch needed for substance, red or yellow potatoes are a nice addition to add creaminess and together create the perfect texture.
What are leeks and where do you find them? Leeks look like a pumped up green onion with a white base and long green tops. They are part of the onion family and have a sweet mild taste perfect for adding to cream based dishes and soups like this Smoky Potato Leek Soup.
Whether you pluck them out of your garden, bring them home from the farmer’s market or grocery store, you will want to rinse them thoroughly. I like to cut the white root base off and run the entire leek under water, moving the green tops around to get in all the nooks and crannies.
What if I can’t find one of the recipe ingredients? The last step of this recipe is to stir in a container of Smoky Jalapeno Alouette Cheese. This may not be available in your neck of the woods and that is totally fine. You can make this soup without it or stir in about a 1/4 cup of cream cheese and a little more serrano pepper to keep the spice ratio correct.
Smoky Jalapeno Alouette Cheese
You may already know about Alouette Spreadable Cheese for creating snacks and appetizers, but use it in cream based soups for added flavor and creaminess. I came across the Smoky Jalapeno flavor at my local Target and was hooked. It combines charcoal smoked onions, spicy jalapenos and cilantro for a very Out West kind of flavor.
Ingredients in Smoky Potato Leek Soup
- Bacon – Thick cut smoked bacon, cut into lardons (1/4 inch slices)
- Leeks – Similar to an onion with the appearance of an oversized green onion / scallion.
- Garlic – Minced garlic. I keep a jar in my refrigerator.
- Serrano Pepper – Similar to a jalapeno, only long and slender with more flavor.
- White Wine – Inexpensive white wine or cooking sherry.
- Potatoes – I use a variety of red, yellow and russet potatoes for the perfect texture.
- Chicken Broth – Better Than Bouillon is always on hand at my house.
- Liquid Smoke – A little goes a long way, a drop or two adds a hint of smokiness.
- Heavy Cream – Whipping cream, heavy whipping cream are other names.
- Mustard Powder – Yellow mustard powder for a depth of flavor.
- Smoky Jalapeno Alouette Cheese – Spreadable cheese, can sub cream cheese and jalapeno pepper.
- Other – Butter, milk, salt and pepper
Smoky Potato Leek Soup
- 4 slices thick cut bacon cut into lardons
- 2 cups leeks halved, then thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp. serrano pepper minced
- 1/4 cup sherry or white wine
- 6 cups variety of red, yellow, russet potatoes 1/4 inch slices
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 6-8 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. mustard powder
- 1 3.25 oz container Smoky Jalapeno Alouette Cheese
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 4 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Render bacon lardons in large soup pot over medium low heat until nearly crisp. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Increase heat to medium and add leek, garlic and serrano pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes until softened.
- Add sherry or white wine and salt and pepper. Let sherry do it's thing for about 2 minutes.
- Add potatoes and enough chicken broth to cover potatoes. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, cooking until potatoes are just fork tender.
- Make roux (recipes follows) and stir into soup making sure to keep stirring until combined well.
- Remove about 2 cups of the soup and blend using either a blender or a hand held immersion blender. Return to soup pot.
- Stir in mustard powder and container of Smoky Jalapeno Alouette Cheese.
- Serve in bowls, top with reserved crumbled bacon and more chopped leeks, if desired.
- Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously. Add milk and cream. Remove from heat and add immediately to soup.