I got this recipe from April a few years back and continue to make it at least a few times every winter. It's one of my husband's favourites. I usually buy a few bunches of leeks at the end of fall, when they're much cheaper than in the winter. I slice them and freeze them in the portion required for this soup and then take them out whenever I feel like making this. Unfortunately, the soup doesn't freeze very well itself, due to the potatoes. But it's good enough that you'll be able to finish it without freezing it.
2 medium baked potatoes
1/4 C butter (optional)
2 1/2 C sliced leeks
2 garlic cloves
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 C water
2 C chicken broth
4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
1/2 C milk
1/2 C sour cream (I use the fat-free)
1 C grated sharp cheddar
2 tbsp. sliced green onions
1. Wash potatoes and bake in the oven until tender. Set aside to cool. Melt butter over medium heat (I skip this step). Add leeks and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes.
2. Add broth and water. Simmer over medium heat and cook until leeks are tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Cook bacon until brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel.
4. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop pulp into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside. Coarsely chop potato skin and entire remaining potato and add to pot with leeks.
5. In a blender or food processor, purée in batches. Return puréed soup to a clean pot and reheat over medium-low. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and sour cream until smooth, then whisk into soup with 1/2 C of cheddar. Stir in diced potato.
6. If soup is too thick, it may be thinned with a little water.
7. Season to taste and garnish with remaining cheddar, bacon and chives.
For a vegetarian version, just omit the bacon bits and use vegetable instead of chicken broth.
Makes 4 servings.