2 slices bacon, sliced into lardons (small pieces, 1/2 inch wide-ish) (if no bacon, 3 tablespoons butter)
1 large leek (or 2 small ones), white and light green parts only, thoroughly rinsed and julienned
3 cups vegetable stock (chicken okay, if using canned broth, try going for low-sodium)
3 cups water
1/4 cup milk
5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 potatoes the size of a child's fist diced into inch cubes(yukon gold or red bliss reccomended)
2 12-ounce cans cannellini drained and rinsed (aka white kidney beans, feel free to substitute reconstituted dried)
2 bay leaves
Parmesan rind (optional)
1 tablespoon savory
Salt and Pepper
Parsley, Parmesan, Cracked pepper (to serve)
Bring a good sized saucepan to medium-high heat and add the lardons. Allow them to render slightly, get a little bit crispy.
Add the sliced leeks and saute for about 6-7 minutes until they get softened.
Add the garlic, stir and heat for about 1 minute until the garlic starts to pale.
Add the stock, water, potatoes, bay leaves, parmesan rind, thyme, a pinch of salt and three pinches of pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow if to simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes become fork tender.
Add the cannellini and milk and continue simmering for about 10 minutes.
Remove the parmesan rind and bay leaves. At this point you can leave it as it is, mush up the potatoes and beans a bit with a spoon, or puree it to your heart's content with an immersion blender.
Serve with a healthy grating of parmesan, a sprinkle of fresh parsley, and cracked black pepper to taste.
Add spinach, kale, broccoli rabe, collard greens, belgian endive, or other greens along with the cannellinini.
Substitute 3 tablespoons olive oil for the lardons, a few chopped tomatoes for the beans, and curry powder/paste for the savory, bay, and parmesan.