Creamy Caramelized Leek Soup with Maple Glazed Bacon.
I don’t even want to tell you about soup right now.
I mean, it’s almost April so shouldn’t we be discussing swimsuits and popsicles and glitter eggs and all things warm weather?
Um. Yes. We should. But we’re not. Because it’s SNOWING.
Okay okay. I’m being dramatic. It snowED. Yesterday. Note the “ed” on the end. At this point I believe we are on the upswing, which will probably be followed with a downswing to toy with my seasonal emotions.
It’s fine though. I’m fine. I’ve kept busy doing important things like taking buzzfeed quizzes on which guy from sex and the city would be my perfect soulmate because that’s real life and actually matters and stuff. At one point they want you to choose a romantic comedy and I want to be all ummm do you even know me? Why do you think it’s possible for me to pick ONE? You may as well ask my favorite song next so I can just clam up and feel completely useless and overwhelmed.
For the record, I got Richard Wright – which is just downright embarrassing.
I feel like I’m eleven years old and just played MASH and received the worst possible combination of living space, life partner, child number and future car… so I say scratch that and rip out another notebook page, scribbling the game down again but this time fixing it for my own personal use.
(Most importantly as I was writing this, I pulled up MASH online and played three rounds. I once wrote an entire post about this and am glad to have rediscovered it if for nothing else than to keep me up late at night.)
All freezing temps aside, it IS a spring soup. So I guess I can’t get away with much more.
And, this soup is just plain super. Or should I say souper. Ugh. I’ll stop.
But really, it’s good. I’m a bit nutty over leeks, yet they aren’t something I grab on a weekly basis. They are like the “treat” of the onion world. Well, so are shallots, but whatever. These guys are green and cute and have swirly insides that look somewhat pretty in photos.
They also taste fantastic when caramelized with some brown sugar, pureed with a bunch of roasted garlic (dyyyyying) and topped off with some maple glazed bacon. A trifecta of flavors, if you will.
Can’t even deal.
I also like to add a drizzle of olive oil because it’s just so darn pretty in droplets. If you use the good stuff, it will add some fantastic flavor too. Oh and the color?! I’m all about pastels at the moment, so I could look at this all day. It’s so lovely and rich but light at the same time. I like it.
- 6 cleaned and trimmed leeks, about 4 cups, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 bulb roasted garlic
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2/3 cup half and half
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Make sure the leeks have been trimmed, rinsed thoroughly and patted as dry as they can be with a paper towel.
Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add the olive oil and butter. Add the leeks, salt, pepper and crushed pepper flakes and toss well to coat. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the leeks begin to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Once the leeks are starting to brown, stir in the brown sugar and cook for another 10 minutes until they are super caramelized. Stir in the roasted garlic. Increase the heat slightly to medium and add the wine. Stir to combine, then cook for a few minutes until most of the wine cooks off. Pour in the stock and stir. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and carefully add the entire mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the pureed soup back in the pot and heat it over low heat. Stir in the half and half, then tasted and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve the soup with a sprinkle of green onions, a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of crushed maple bacon.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a nonstick wire rack on top. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until bacon is starting to get crispy in parts and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the oven and brush it on both sides with maple syrup. Bake for another 6 to 8 minutes until the bacon is crispy and dark. Remove from the oven and brush with maple syrup once more, then let cool completely. Once cooled, crushed into bits.
P.S. can we talk about how I found the fattest leeks ever? Seriously. These had some girth. Stopping again. I know.