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BLT and P (Bacon Leek, Tomato and Potato) Soup

Courtesy Food Network; Rachael Ray
Recipe serves 4; Time to table is 40 minutes.

extra-virgin olive oil
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
handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
crusty bread
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Heat a medium soup pot or deep sided skillet over medium-high heat. To the hot pan add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and the bacon. Cook bacon until brown and crisp. 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 the leeks into a colander and run under rushing cold water, separating 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 to 4 minutes, slice the potatoes.

Cut each potato across into thirds. Stand each piece of 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 to10 minutes until potatoes are tender and starting to break up a bit. Add bacon and parsley and stir. Adjust seasonings. Serve immediately with crusty bread.