Leek and potato soup

500g/1Ib 2oz trimmed leeks (about 3)
500g/1Ib 2oz potatoes (about 3)
1 onion
2 rashers rindless streaky bacon
25g/1oz butter
1.4 litres/2 1/2 pints hot vegetable stock
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
142g carton whipping cream
Bacon bits to serve


  1. Slice the leeks and potatoes using the thick slicing plate and remove from the bowl. Slice the onion in the same way.
  2. Snip the bacon rashers into thin strips with scissors over a saucepan. Cook over a medium heat until the fat begins to run and the bacon becomes tinged golden brown - this will take 2-3 minutes. Add the butter and stir, then add the onion and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent, stirring often and scraping up any brown bits from the base of the pan.
  3. Tip in the leeks and potatoes, stir well to mix everything together then cover the pan tightly with its lid. Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, shaking the pan frequently and stirring halfway through.
  4. Pour in the stock and stir well. Turn the heat up to high and bring the soup to the boil - this should take 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low again, sprinkle in salt and black pepper to taste, then stir again and cover the pan with its lid. Let the soup bubble gently for 30 minutes until the leeks and potatoes are very soft, stirring from time to time.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Using a measuring jug and a ladle, transfer half the soup to a liquidiser. Process for 30 seconds until it forms a smooth puree. Check that there are no lumps - if there are, process again for a few seconds. Pour the puree into a large bowl, and repeat with the remaining soup. A food processor also works but gives a chunkier effect.
  6. Pour the pureed soup back into the saucepan. Turn the heat on to between medium and high and reheat the soup, stirring frequently, until it is just bubbling. Stir in the cream, check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Ladle or pour the soup into warmed soup bowls, then sprinkle crispy bacon bits in the centre. Serve immediately