A couple of notes, and to give credit where it’s due…
- From the Alton Brown recipe: the idea of using leeks instead of onions. (I don’t like onions–they’re too strong-tasting to me. That seems to run in my family, because I also have several relatives who don’t like onions, including my mom, my brother, and at least one uncle.) The major contribution of putting the potatoes through the ricer, which helped a lot in getting that creamy texture I wanted. Also the additions of the sour cream and using chicken stock instead of broth–even though I used a carton of stock from the grocery store, I figured that would give more depth to the flavor than just plain broth.
- Other than the ricer, I took most of the preparation steps from the Cooking Light recipe–cooking the leeks and garlic in the bacon drippings, adding the stock and milk directly to the pan (Alton suggested heating up the stock separately first and then whisking the potatoes and dairy together separately, but that would make extra dirty dishes and I didn’t want that.) Cheddar instead of parmesan. The proportions of chicken stock to dairy were more in-line with this recipe, though I didn’t exactly follow the ingredients here either. (Alton called for buttermilk, and CL for 1% milk, but I didn’t feel like drinking the leftovers and figured the fat-free would make up a bit for the bacon grease.) Also, the bacon–the lack of was the major shortcoming in the AB recipe.
- The AB recipe called for 2 1/2 tsp of salt, and the CL for just 1 tsp. I didn’t think one would be enough, but I originally tried just two. When tasting it later, it seemed like it needed more, so I went ahead and added the other 1/2 tsp.
- My own twists: using the immersion blender to make the soup smoother, and adding the bacon to the actual soup rather than just as a garnish. The reasons for this were that I wanted the bacon flavor to infuse the soup more (I feel so Iron Chef saying that), and the more practical reason of the leftovers would just have the bacon sitting in the soup anyway.
It passed the “Dad test” too, although he’s hands-down the least picky eater of my entire family. (He likes to test my food creations though, since my mom’s highly restricted diet means she doesn’t really cook meals anymore. And I guess it’s a nice break from the ginormous salads he usually eats for dinner.) But he went back for seconds and even stated “you could sell this.” That was nice to hear.