Aired August 27, 2007
6 slices lean, smoky, good-quality bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 small ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, finely chopped
2 small to medium carrots
3 leeks trimmed of rough tops and roots
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
3 medium starchy potatoes, such as Idaho, peeled
2 quarts chicken stock
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Crusty bread, for dunking and mopping
Heat a medium soup pot or deep sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO and the bacon. Cook bacon until brown and crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.
Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of remaining fat. Add the chopped celery. Take peeled carrots and lay flat on cutting board. Hold each carrot at root end and use the vegetable peeler to make long, thin strips of the carrot. Chop the thin slices into small carrot bits or carrot chips, 1/2 inch wide. Add the chips to celery and stir.
Cut leeks lengthwise and then into 1/2 inch half moons. Place dirty slices into colander and run under rushing cold water, separating all the layers to wash away all the trapped grit. When the leeks are separated and clean, shake off water and add to celery and carrots. Stir veggies together, add a bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. While the leeks cook to wilt, 3-4 minutes, slice the potatoes by cutting each potato into thirds across. Stand each third potato upright and thinly slice it. The pieces will look like raw potato chips.
Add stock to vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add potatoes and tomatoes. Cook 8-10 minutes until potatoes are tender and starting to break up a bit. Add bacon and parsley and stir. Adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.