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It's soup weather. This week, we'll offer you some winning concoctions to warm your belly and make your home smell spectacular. Today's is a winner from the Wolfgang Puck recipe archives.


1/4 lb. smoked sliced bacon, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup butter

2 small leeks, trimmed, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup flour

6 cups chicken stock

3 lbs. Idaho potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 cup heavy cream


In a large saucepan cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon, set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Add butter and melt.

Add leeks, onion, carrots and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in chicken broth.

Add potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook partially covered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Place cheese in a large mixing bowl. Stir in about a quarter of the hot soup, mixing until smooth. Return cheese mixture to saucepan.

Gradually stir in heavy cream, salt and ground pepper. Continue to heat soup until almost boiling.

Garnish with thinly sliced scallions or chives and crumbled bacon.