Leek and Potato beforeIt’s cold and I’ve decided never to leave the house ever again. So now it’s on to ‘Loaded Leek and Potato Soup’. This one isn’t vegan. It’s really, really not vegan. Like I’d have to try to make it less vegan. Maybe serve it in leather bowls and garnish each with a whole cow…

What
2-4 Cups leftover mashed potatoes. Or make mashed potatoes for 3-4 people first. Measurements are all ‘approximate’ since I measure nothing when I cook. (ok, I know, WHAT measurements?)
3-5 large-ish leeks sliced (white and light green bits only)
2-4 tbsp butter, margarine or olive oil. Hell bacon fat would work too. Any fat will do the trick. The only difference being one clogs your arteries, the other stays safely on your butt where someone can keep an eye on it for you.
1 tbsp all purpose flour 
4 cups cold milk 
1 carton low sodium prepared chicken broth, or approximately one litre of either home-made stock, or bouillon from concentrate. Whatever you have. 
4-6 slices crisp bacon 
1/2-1 cup shredded light old cheddar (depends on your tastes) 
1/2 cup fat free sour cream (optional) 
salt and pepper to taste 

How: 

Slice and sautee your leeks (white and light green bits only) in the bottom of your favourite stock pot. Set leeks aside and make a roux by heating a couple of tablespoons of butter (a scoop that looks like a golf-ball), then adding a heaping tablespoon of flour. Sautee until golden. If roux is too dry, add butter/oil/margarine, of roux is too runny, add a little more flour. It should be thicker than corn syrup, runnier than joint compound.

Add four cups of cold milk all at once, then reduce heat and simmer until milk has thickened, stirring continuously. (fail to stir at this point, and your roux may burn on the bottom, or ‘break’ which will make it look curdled. Even if you do break it, it’s still quite edible. Most of my own recipes are fairly goof-proof, and this one is an original, arrived at by trial and error. For those REALLY worried about fat, you can skip the butter and just whisk flour into the cold milk and thicken by heating.  Once you have something the consistency of good gravy, chowder, or say, wallpaper paste, add your leeks back in, then your chicken broth, and whatever mashed potatoes you have on hand. (More potatoes, add a little more broth, less potatoes, use a little less) I also generally chop five or six strips of very crisp bacon in, add a half cup of fat free sour cream and however much light old shredded cheddar I feel like adding (1/2 cup to a cup, depending on the day, and what’s in the house). 
Salt and pepper to taste, blend in pot with stick blender (or hand mixer) until smooth, then let it simmer gently over low heat until nice and thick. (Stir it once in a while, since the bottom thickens first, and it WILL burn if, say you’re busy trying to finish the leftover Thanksgiving wine while you think no one’s looking, smoking, pulling beads out of your kid’s ear, playing video games or otherwise distracted and not paying attention)

Makes approximately one bucketful. Even better topped with more shredded cheddar, because really, what isn’t?

Enjoy with your favourite crusty bread, and go put your Atkins diet book in the blue box.

It’s even better the next day after knerdling overnight in the fridge.

If you did it right, it ends up looking something like this:

Leek and potato AFTER

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