Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I feel a bit guilty putting one of the components of this dish in a tight-a$$ recipe. But, with the amount you need, it is still a cheap meal. I'd planned all day to make Potato and Leek Soup, with some little parmesan crisps and crunchy bacon. About the bacon...
Not 2 hours into my day and I had a knock at the door, with my postie holding out a package for me. Under layers of bubble wrap, ice-packs and a plastic container, were 5 (!!) packages of different bacon from E at King Valley Free Range Pork. Different cuts, different cures and smokes, all the way from Victoria, all for me!
I was pacing the kitchen, I was Googling, I was filtering through my favorite food blogs for inspiration. This was special, and getting my hands on this pork has been on my wishlist for years! The recipe had to allow it to be the main event! There were streaky bacon wrapped asparagus spears, wrapped figs, carbonaras, pies, and breakfasts dishes. All great options, but... I think the soup I'd planned on making all day, carried the flavour perfectly. The flavour permeates quickly with just a quick stir. I even had enough sweet, smokey fat render out for a little drizzle on each bowl.
Potato and Leek Soup
3 large leeks, roughly chopped
1kg potatoes, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2L chicken stock
salt and pepper
100g butter, extra
200g streaky bacon, cut into strips
Sweat the leeks and butter over a low heat for around 10 minutes, or until soft but not coloured. Add in the potatoes, garlic, chicken stock and salt and pepper. Cook for approx 15 minutes, until potatoes are soft. In this time, fry off the bacon until coloured and crispy. With a stick blender, puree soup until smooth. If it is too thick, thin down with milk. Serve up into hot bowls, and sprinkle bacon and parmesan crisps.
To make parmesan crisps, pile a tablespoon of finely grated parmesan on a lined baking tray, and gently pat out into rounds. Bake in a moderate oven until melted and golden brown. Gently peel off with a spatula and allow to cool.
If you are lucky enough to live in Victoria, you can find the King Valley Free Range Pork, made from heritage breed, black pigs and cured using traditional artisan methods at markets all around Victoria. Join the Facebook group to keep up to date, or check out the King Valley Free Range Pork website for markets dates and times.