October 20, 2014

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup

It's fall y'all!! And as it has been raining and chilly around here for the last week or so, it's the perfect time for soup!  Oh, who am I kidding; I always think it's the perfect time for soup.  It drives Dustin crazy because he doesn't really like soup and I want it all the time.

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato Soup

So to make it up to him, I try to make really hearty, delicious soups that will fill him up.  Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup fit the bill;  the potatoes and leeks fill up the silky, creamy, cheesy soup base.  Then you top it all off with more bacon, more cheese, and whatever else fits your fancy.   

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup

The soup base (liquid? soupy parts? I don't know..) is made with chicken broth, and then cream cheese and monterey jack cheese are added and melted into it.  The result is a super creamy, silky soup that is full of delicious cheesy flavor.  It's not like eating a giant bowl of cheese--not that I would have a problem with that.  It's more like the most delicious bowl of creamy potato soup you've ever had!

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup

I make a really a soup with a similar cheesy base, and this soup came to me as we were driving to our hotel on our last night in California.  Maybe I was subconsciously dreading the cold and rainy we were coming home to?  This soup came together wonderfully, and I can't wait to make it again.  Thank you, long California drives, for coming up with this delicious soup!

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Bacon and Chives

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup
author: Abby at Happy Food Happy Home
makes 4 generous servings (easily doubled)

1 piece of bacon
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups diced leeks (1 medium leek)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 cups diced waxy potatoes (I used Yukon golds)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (don't use pre-shredded!)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 block cream cheese (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Crumbled Crispy Bacon
Sour Cream

  1. Cut your bacon into strips.  Add bacon to a cold dutch oven or soup pot.  Heat over medium heat until the bacon is crispy. 
  2. Remove the bacon from the pot leaving the bacon grease behind.  Set bacon pieces aside for topping later.  
  3. Slice leek in half length wise, then cut into thin strips. Place is colander and rinse the leeks thoroughly with cool water.  
  4. Add butter and leeks to the pot.  Stir everything together and cook until leeks have softened, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Add black pepper and cayenne to leeks and stir. Toast for about 30 seconds. 
  6. Add potatoes and chicken broth.  The chicken broth should cover the potatoes--if not add water to cover.
  7. Place lid on pot and bring soup to a boil. Allow soup to boil for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.  
  8. Lower heat to a simmer. 
  9. Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and add to the soup.  Stir occasionally and allow to melt. 
  10. Shred the monterey jack cheese and toss with the cornstarch.  
  11. Once the cream cheese has melted, add the monterey jack in two batches to the soup.  Stir thoroughly between each addition. 
  12. When the cheeses have melted and combined into the soup, add the parsley and stir to combine. 
  13. Remove the soup from the heat and serve.
  14. Top with bacon, chives, sour cream, and anything else you normally put on top of baked potatoes!
Notes:  This soup is easily doubled to make more servings!
To Make Vegetarian:  Replace the piece of bacon and butter in Step 1-4 with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. 
Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  
Do not top with bacon :)

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato and Leek Soup has definitely earned its spot on my soup list.  And Dustin really liked it too!  This would be a perfect soup to invite people over on a chilly evening and share; add some board games, and you've created my perfect evening.  

What's your favorite soup to make when it gets cold?  Chili is on the menu for this weekend!

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