Wednesday, 8 August 2007

A hint of spring

As the mornings get warmer and it becomes a little easier to get out of bed, it makes sense to look beyond hearty winter fare for something lighter. Although it's almost time to put away the casserole dish, I still find myself seeking a bowlful of something comforting with just a hint of spring. This soup is warming enough to carry you through the last days of winter with a hint of springtime green. It is a lovely medley of creamy smoked bacon chowder and aromatic leeks and parsley that cut through the richness.

Although leeks are usually at their best in autumn, I have recently noticed beautiful baby leeks on offer that welcome spring perfectly. This dish would also be ideal for those seeking something to ease them into autumn when regular leeks are plentiful. Leeks are used in two ways. Firstly as an aromatic base and secondly to finish the soup with a burst of fresh flavour. Visit your butcher and seek out the best bacon you can find for delightfully moorish cubes that add a deep, smoky richness.

This will also be my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging created by Kalyn and hosted by Melissa of Cooking Diva.

Bacon and Leek Chowder

3 baby leeks or 1 large leek chopped
1/2 tbsp butter
150g/5oz smoked bacon cubed
1/2 finely diced carrot
2 small potatoes cubed
4 cups homemade chicken stock
2 tbsp cream
chopped parsley

Sauté two of the baby leeks or 2/3 of a large leek with the cubed bacon in a large pot. You shouldn’t require additional fat unless your bacon is particularly lean. Add the diced carrot and allow to soften slightly before adding the cubed potato. Pour over the chicken stock and add the thyme. Allow to simmer on the lowest heat until the potato is cooked through and the thyme is infused.

Season to taste. Remove the thyme. In a separate pan sauté the remaining leek in the butter and spoon over the soup. Take off the heat and stir through the cream to finish. Serve in large bowls with a generous sprinkle of parsley and buttery slices of bread.


Cookie said...

Humm! The soup seems appetizing...
I love your blog with this recipes and the photos complete everthing!
Sorry if my english is wrong I'm portuguese and I give a lot of mistakes so I'm sorry.
It's a good blog. I love it.

Truffle said...

Cookie- I think your English is excellent and thank you very much for the kind words.

CookingDiva - Chef Melissa said...

Good morning from Panama! your showder looks delicious and the combination quite interesting. Thank you for participating on the WHB#95!

Kalyn said...

The chowder looks delicious. Soon it will be soup weather here too. I haven't cooked with leeks much, and they're one of the ingredients I want to experiment with more.

Figs Olives Wine said...

What a gorgeous looking soup. I love the thyme with the bacon here. Perfect for when our weather turns crisp which I hope won't be too much longer!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Truffle, I love leeks! And pairing them with bacon is just a magnificent idea!

Wendy said...

Yum. Bacon and any kind of green is always a winner.
Funny you mentioning the light mornings. Just last night I was celebrating having a dark enough evening to light some candles!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Yum this sounds delicious!

katiez said...

Here leeks are best in spring, but we havbe mild winters... I start pulling them in Feb.
Love your soup.... Sounds ver warm and comforting.
Glad your season is 'turning'!

Nora B. said...

Such a wonderful looking and sounding soup. Perfect for the current weather. I'll have to look out for baby leeks (I like baby anything - so cute!).

I can't wait for spring!!!!

Deborah said...

Oh wow - this looks and sounds wonderful! I will be saving this recipe for when the weather cools off just a bit.

Truffle said...

Melissa- Thank you so much for hosting! I'm looking forward to the round-up :)

Kalyn- Thanks for creating this wonderful event. I love leeks as an alternative to onions or as a soup base but need to start doing more with them.

Figs olive and wine- thank you very much! It's lovely having warming soups and hearty stews to look forward to as the weather becomes chilly.

Thanks Patricia. I love the combination too. I think bacon and leek would also go well together in a quiche.

Wendy- that sounds delightfully romantic. You're making me miss winter and it's not over yet!

Jenndz- thanks so much!

Katiez- you're so lucky to grow your own. I'm envious!

Nora B- I love baby vegetables too. They're gorgeous! Less than a month to go until spring!

Thanks Deborah- I hope you enjoy!

Lucy said...

So pleased spring is within sight now. It's been very dark and cold at times. Still, soup's very much the right thing to sip on for a litle while yet!

Anh said...

Truffle, this must be a very nice soup! And yes, thanks God spring is coming... I can't wait for the warmer days!

Cynthia said...

I promise to eat my breakfast if you make dishes like these for me every morning :)

Serenity Later said...

Mmmmm...bacon & leek chowder! What a great recipe truffle and very droolworthy pix, i might add. Yum!

Towser said...

Hi Truffles!
Recently found your site, nice. As for your ham chowder, funny I think we fell on a similar idea at the same time. Variation on a theme anyway. Must be the planets. Cheers.

M's nemesis said...

I agree with Serenity's comments- great pix, yet another MA15+ rating hehe..

Leeks are great in a quiche with bacon and although I prefer my eggs adulterated (to the point I cant' taste them) it would be a perfect match with the leeks and bacon!

Look forward to more posts! :)

Truffle said...

Lucy- I must have jinxed myself because this morning it was windy and horrid. Looks like I spoke too soon!

Anh- me too! Thanks very much. I would have loved one of your baked treats to finish the meal off :)

Cynthia- it's a deal! It's good to have you back.

Serenity Later- thank you so much! It's fun experimenting with what looks good at the shops on any given day and sometimes, just sometimes, you end up with something that works!

Towser- my father makes something very similar to yours with a ham hock. I think they were just made for soups!

M's nemesis - I often like my eggs that way too but sometimes I am a purist and crave a poached one with toast. I look forward to following your posts too.

Peter M said...

That's a comforting chowder and one to try when the cooler weather arrives in Canada.

IronEaters said...

reading it makes me hungry now.. =D dipping the breads into the hot soup in winter is jt a blessing.

Tartelette said...

I am saving this recipe for this fall and winter. Sounds absolutely decadent and delicious!

Truffle said...

Peter M - thank you! I hope you enjoy it :)

Ironeaters- bread and soup are a heavenly combination indeed!

Tartelette - Thank you so much! I hope you like it.

Kalyn said...

I'm happy to see that Melissa is doing better and has finally posted the recap for this WHB. Thanks for being so patient.

Kay said...

Hi! I made this but substituted carrots for tomatoes because I couldn't find carrots at the [very small] supermarket and left out the potatoes coz they're really starchy and loved it! :) Thank you for the delicious inspiration!