This is a take on the classic Vichyssoise soup–a potato and leek soup generally served chilled in the summer. This version is hearty, served steaming hot with blue cheese as a garnish.
2 oz. pancetta, roughly chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 leeks, chopped (use white & light green parts only)
2 bay leaves
2 C chicken stock
1 lb. diced Yukon Gold potatoes
(about 8 small ones)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 C crumbled blue cheese of your choice
Chives, to garnish
1) In a stockpot, add the pancetta on medium heat and cook until some of the fat render, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and stir. Add a drizzle of oil to the onions if they stick to the bottom of your stockpot. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic.
2) Add the leeks to the stockpot. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the diced potatoes and cook for another minute. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock. The liquid should just cover the potatoes and leeks. Add water to cover if there isn’t enough stock to do so. Add the bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
3) Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and blend with an immersion blender until the soup is smooth. Add a touch of water if the soup is too thick for your taste. Strain the soup to remove any lumps and strands of leek. Serve warm with crumbled blue cheese and garnish with chives.