- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 slices streaky bacon, cut in 1/3-inch strips
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 leek, white parts only, diced and rinsed well
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 (12-ounce) white beer, such as Hoegaarden
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces grated white Irish cheddar cheese, some reserved for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 small boule bowls, centers cut out like a bowl, and toasted
- Chives, thinly sliced, for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the onion, leek, celery and garlic and saute until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the beer, chicken broth and potatoes. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, while stirring on occasion, until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once potatoes are tender, turn off heat, and blend until smooth using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender). Turn heat back to medium and stir in the heavy cream. Once slightly simmering, stir in the cheese by the handful to melt. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve in bread bowls garnished with bacon, chives and shredded cheese.