Leek, Bacon & Potato soup
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-size onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 leeks, white and pale-green parts, sliced thin (see Note on cleaning)
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled, diced potatoes (about 3 medium-size or 1-1/2 pounds total)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1.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.
2.In the same pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add carrots and leeks, and cook for 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.
3.Take soup off heat. Stir in bacon and 1 cup of the cheese. Serve, garnishing with additional cheese if desired.