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Potato Soup with Pancetta and Cheddar Cheese

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When you have extra potatoes don’t leave them to turn green and unusable – make this warming rich soup instead! It freezes well (as long as you don’t add the cream until you reheat it). Omit the pancetta if you haven’t got any or use bacon instead and use Parmesan or Gouda instead of Cheddar.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1.4 kg of potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (Roosters or Maris Pipers are good)
Salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, white part only, washed and finely sliced
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100ml single cream
100g pancetta, cubed
55g of grated Cheddar
Chopped chives to garnish

Instructions

1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and pour enough cold water over them to cover. Add a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to medium and cook the potatoes until they are easy to pierce with a fork.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, add the olive oil to a frying pan. Fry the leeks with the bay leaf with a good pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper over gentle heat until the leeks are soft. Add the leeks with the bay leaf to the cooked potatoes and the cooking water, adding more water if you need to. Cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

3. Whizz the potato and leek mixture with a hand blender or pureé in a stand blender with the cream, adding more water to thin it out to the desired consistency. (You may need to do this in two batches). Return to a clean pan and reheat before serving. To finish, fry the pancetta in a dry non-stick pan until crispy. Serve the soup with grated Cheddar and crispy pancetta sprinkled on top wth a sprinkling of chives.

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