Creamy Potato Leek Soup

In my never-ending quest to get my kids (and husband) to eat their veggies I came up with a great idea.  The girls love to shop.  (They do not get that trait from me.  We’ll just leave it at that. ) They love to go to a store, pick something new out, take it to the cashier, pay for it and take it home (and then play with it for about 3 minutes).  So a couple of days ago I was out with the girls and had to stop by our usual grocery store, Sprouts.  It is a natural/whole foods/farmers market type store.  They have a sizable produce department and carry many things I have never seen before  and lots of stuff I have never tried before.  I probably do have a pretty varied diet and likely eat better than maybe the typical American but it is easy to get comfortable in buying the same things over and over.  I wanted to try to step out of my comfort zone and try something different.  I told the girls on the way to the store that they were both allowed to choose something from the produce department.  The only rules were that they had to choose a vegetable and it had to be one we have never had before.  They were so excited to pick something out.  I was hoping that if they chose it and then we decided on how to prepare it together and then cooked it together that maybe they would be more enthusiastic about eating it.  I was right!  Sage choose 2 large leeks.  Rori choose flowering kale, which was really pretty.  I didn’t even know what it was.  I had to look at the receipt to figure it out.   With the flowering kale I made a pork stir fry that included onion, garlic, ginger, orange bell pepper, broccoli, carrot, soy sauce and fish sauce.  Oh, and lots of coconut oil.  I served that on top of quinoa.  It was really good.  I won’t bother with a recipe because it is a stir fry.  Who follows a recipe for that?  For the leeks we decided on soup.  How have I never had leeks before?  They are so good.  Sandy and a bugger to clean up but yummy!  I made this soup without following a recipe and I didn’t measure anything but I did want to write down what I did because it turned out to be the best soup I have ever had.  It is unbelievable!  Once I started to make my own soups from scratch it is hard to stomach one that comes from a can.  Not only do they taste bad and have a bunch of stuff in it that I don’t want (have you ever read the label for a can of soup?) but every single Campbell’s soup has gluten in it.  (Unless of course that had changed since the last time I tried to buy one a couple of years ago.)

Creamy Potato Leek Soup

3 strips of thick cut bacon

2 T coconut oil (I use expeller pressed so it does not have the flavor or coconut)

2 large leeks – ends cut off, washed really well and coarsely chopped

5 cloves of garlic minced

5 smallish starchy potatoes – peeled and cubed

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme – stem removed

2 bay leaves

4-5 cups chicken broth (mine was homemade)

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 cup sour cream or plain greek style yogurt

salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot on medium heat and add diced bacon.  Render fat and cook until a bit crispy.  Remove bacon and set aside.  To bacon fat in pot add coconut oil and heat.  Add chopped leeks, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook, without browning, for approx 10 minutes.   Add chicken broth, potatoes, thyme and bay leaves.  Simmer for about 30-45 minutes until potatoes are soft.  Remove bay leaves.  Using an immersion blender puree until creamy and free of any lumps.  Add half and half and sour cream or yogurt. Blend to combine.   Adjust seasons with salt and pepper.   Garnish with bacon bits.  And there you have it, green goodness in a bowl.