So I really love to cook. And bake. Oh, and eat. And I'm a collector of recipes - sometimes I just like to read them. And my thought was to share some of my favorites with everyone. Rather than letting them all get lost in the shuffle of photos and cute kid moments, I just created another blog. For those of you wondering, Cucina Pazza means "Crazy Kitchen" in Italian. And those that have seen me cook will agree with the title! I also have a sign on the wall in my kitchen that says it. Maybe I should take a photo of it and put it in the header, if I can figure that out.
On to the recipes!! Here's the first one - I just tried this new recipe tonight. Haven't a clue where I got it from but it was REALLY good. I mean REALLY REALLY good. Like we all gobbled it down and went back for more. And relatively healthy and low-ish fat. Try it, I think you'll like it!
Leek, Bacon & Potato Soup
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 leeks, white and pale-green parts, sliced thin (DON'T use dark green parts)
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled, diced potatoes (I use yellow or Yukon Gold potatoes)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
In a large deep pot or saucepan, cook bacon on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Discard grease, wipe out pan. (I prefer to cook my bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven, then crumble it for the soup.)
In the same pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add carrots and leeks and cook 2 more minutes. Add broth, potatoes and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Take soup off heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in bacon and 1 cup of the cheese. Serve, garnishing with additional cheese if desired. (I also like to add a dollop of sour cream.)
**If your kids don't like lumpy soup, you could easily use a hand blender or pour in a regular blender to make this smooth - do it before you add the cheese and bacon.**