Potato and leek soup is an all-time classic. But you know that we like to put our spin on things – and in this case, we’re adding some crispy and salty goodness.
Topping this classic comfort food with pancetta does wonders. The salt and crunch from the pancetta brings this creamy soup to life. Like all dishes that are cooked low and slow, we recommend preparing this in a Dutch oven–which helps to retain and distribute heat evenly. Pair with a crusty baguette and a bottle of wine, and you’ve got yourself a cozy meal perfect for any time of year.
Potato and Leek Soup with Crispy Pancetta
Start to finish: 1 hour 50 minutes
2 oz (about 1/2 cup) pre-diced pancetta
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 61/2 cups)
1 large carrot, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
1 large celery stalk, sliced (about 1⁄2 cup)
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped (2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup dry white wine
7 cups lower-sodium vegetable stock
3 medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 oz Parmesan, grated (about 1⁄2 cup)
Kosher salt, to taste
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium. Add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add oil to pancetta drippings in Dutch oven; increase heat to medium-high. Add leeks, carrot, celery and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add wine; cook, stirring often, until almost completely evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add stock and potatoes; bring to a boil over high. Partially cover Dutch oven; reduce heat to low, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and let cool 15 minutes.
- Transfer half of the leek mixture to a blender; add 1/4 cup of the cream and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Secure lid on blender and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over the opening. Process until smooth, about 35 seconds. Transfer pureed soup to a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining leek mixture, cream and Parmesan. Return soup to Dutch oven. Season with salt to taste. Divide soup evenly among 6 bowls—and sprinkle evenly with pancetta.