As much as I hate to admit it, fall is in full swing and winter is just ahead of us. Winter is gonna smack us in the face harder than our mothers did when they found out we ate all the bacon. Winter means more soup recipes and even more soup recipes. Well, it will hit hard for me here in Toronto, so I better prepare. If you’re lucky enough to live in a place that avoids this frigid cold, it’s still best to prepare yourself by learning some of these hearty, rich, and warming meals. I’m really on a big soup kick lately, and this thick and hearty potato leek soup is a sure remedy for winters bitterness.

Ingredients

8 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

1 lb Potatoes

2 Large Leeks

1 head Garlic

1 Onion

1 cup White wine

4 cups Chicken stock

½ cup Heavy Cream

1 cup Milk

2 tbsp Butter

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400F

2. First, take your knife and run it down the length of your leek, then cut it into half rounds like shown below.

3. Now leeks contain a whole ton of dirt and soil in them, so you MUST rinse them thoroughly in water before you do anything with them.

4. Give your potatoes a good peeling and cut them into quarters, or a little bit smaller.

5. Toss all of your potatoes and leeks into a big roasting pan or baking sheet. Add in a whole head of garlic. You heard me correctly: A whole head. Keep the cloves whole and they will roast nicely into a super mellow, yet flavourful addition to the soup. Toss everything in a generous portion of olive oil then throw it in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and slightly browned. Mix everything up a couple times within that 45 minutes.

6. While you’re waiting, grab an onion and slice it as fine as you can. A sharp knife is your best friend.

7. Fry the onions in your butter and a couple tablespoons of olive oil. The butter will burn without the olive oil. Do this nice and slowly for about 10 or 15 minutes until the onions have gone nice and brown

8. See! Brown!

9. Scoop them out onto some paper towels. They will go super crunchy –we’ll save these for garnish later.

10. Chop up your bacon into large pieces and fry it in the bottom of large pot. Fry it until its crispy and reserve it for a bit later. Leave all the bacon fat in the bottom of the pot though! We’ll use that later.

11. Once the potatoes and leeks are ready to go, deglaze the pan with your white wine and a bit of the chicken stock.

12. Once you’ve scraped up all the bits that were stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan, dump everything into the pot that contains your bacon fat.

13. Add in the half of the remaining stock, the cream and the milk. Using an emersion blender (or if you don’t have one, a regular blender) blend the soup until it’s smooth, THEN add your bacon back in. Don’t want blended bacon.

14. Thin out your soup as you wish with the remaining stock.

15. Serve and top with your fried onions. Mmmm mmmm good!