Holiday Comforts + Potato Leek Soup, Two Ways

Potato Leek Soup, Two Ways

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc.. All opinions are entirely my own.

I’ve talked to you guys before about how the holiday season, while my favorite time of year, often becomes overwhelming for me, thanks to an intense work schedule, overbooked plans and activities, and general unrealistic expectations. I also recently mentioned how I’m making a conscious effort this year to dodge that stressed out state of mind by staying in the present and appreciating simple holiday comforts with my family. And one of the main ways I’m doing this is by making delicious, comforting foods together that we can enjoy as part of informal family holiday meals.

One of our go-to meals that we prepare and savor together is my mom’s potato leek soup. We put on holiday music, burn seasonal scented candles, and make it together. The best part of this soup (aside from the fact that it is genuinely one of the best things I’ve ever tasted), is that it is a favorite for every member of our family, despite our different tastes. I am a long time vegetarian, and potatoes are in my top five when it comes to food. And those of you who know my husband Robbie know that bacon is his absolute favorite. (I mean, the band he works for called him on stage on his birthday a few years ago and presented him with a bacon cake. So yeah. He likes it. A lot.) My son Emmett is definitely going to follow in his bacon-loving daddy’s footsteps, if his current adoration for it is an indication. And my daughter Essley, who refuses all other meat, is obsessed with bacon. So I make the base soup with veggie ingredients, and put some aside for myself. And while I’m preparing the base soup, my husband cooks what he has declared to be the star of the soup show, Wright® Brand Bacon (hand-trimmed, hand-selected, naturally smoked; the best!), which he then adds into the soup for the rest of the family. It’s a win-win. No matter how your family’s tastes vary, I think this soup will become a holiday favorite for you as well!

INGREDIENTS
5 lbs. Russet potatoes
2-3 32 oz containers of vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
2-3 large leeks
1 cup milk
1/2 to 1 package Wright® Brand Bacon
chopped parsley or chives to top/garnish (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to top (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

BACON: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place strips of bacon on a cookie sheet, then sprinkle with a little pepper. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until crispy brown.

SOUP: Peel and cut potatoes into chunks (approximately 1-1/2 inch in size) and place in a large pot. Wash leeks and cut in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/4 inch pieces. (Use only the white to light green sections of the leeks.) Pour stock in the pot over the potatoes and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add leeks. Boil for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Mash (either by hand or with a mixer), adding milk along the way, to consistency of thick soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside enough soup for the veggie-eaters in your family. Cut or crumble cooked bacon and mix into remainder of soup. Serve in soup bowls and top with shredded cheese, chopped parsley or chives, and a hefty dose of holiday spirit.

This soup is the perfect comfort food to serve for lunch or dinner during the holidays and wintertime – both in your own home and at holiday gatherings. We pick up the ingredients, along with other Tyson® favorites (which are perfect for all cooking occasions all holiday season long; Sara Lee® Frozen Desserts are another of our holiday jams!), at our local Meijer (you can find yours right here), and make it several times over the season. It’s simple, it’s something delicious we can make as a family, and it’s the ideal dish to make for holiday meals beyond just the big, formal dinners. I get my holiday mashed potato fix, my husband and kids get their Wright® Brand Bacon fix, and we’re able to spend quality time together during a busy time when moments of pure, uncomplicated joy can be too often overlooked. It’s the best.

If you try this soup (and/or Robbie’s and Essley’s all-time favorite Wright® Brand Bacon), I’d love to hear what you think. Happy Holidays!

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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