Smokey Potato Leek Soup

4  - 6 pieces of bacon3 - 4 leeks well washed and chopped4 - 6 large red potatoes peeled and chopped1 clove garlic2 bay leaves leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme1 /2 cup dry white wine1 standard box of chicken stock2 cups watersalt and pepper to tastecreme fraiche or sour cream to taste
- In a deep stock pot cook pieces of bacon.  When bacon is crispy remove and place on paper towels to drain.- You will cook the leeks in the drippings.  If you want you can remove some of the oil depending on how much was rendered from the bacon.  My bacon wasn't all that fatty so I left what was in the pot.- Over medium heat add the leeks.  Cook for 10 minutes.- De-glaze with white wine- Add potatoes, garlic, stock, herbs, salt and pepper- Simmer covered for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft- If you have an immersion blender you can blend soup at this point to desired thickness- I just have a regular blender.  In batches place soup in blender, leave cover off and place a towel over opening.  Blend until just smooth.  I needed to add some water at this point to get the mixture to blend.- For an extra smooth soup you can pour blended soup through a sieve.  I found my briefly blended soup to have a lovely and smooth texture so I didn't bother. - Don't use a Cuisinart for this step as it will make the texture like paste.** Never try to blend a hot liquid fully covered!  The heat will expand, the top will blow off and you will have a HOT mess!!  Trust me, this can happen as I learned many years ago!!