Leek, Fennel and Potato Soup with Fried Wild Shrimp and Poached Egg

Another blustery day here in Seattle, and another good day for soup.  The various soups that are pureed are all excellent ways to get vegetables into my kids without the normal push back.  The soups hold for several days and are, in fact, better the second day.  The chilling and reheating of the soup intensifies the flavors.  

2 large leeks, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
6 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brandy
6 cups chicken stock

In a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the potatoes and saute for a few minutes.  I used a mixture of red and yukon gold left over from the garden.  Then add the leeks and fennel and saute for another 10 minutes until quite soft.  Deglaze with the brandy and then add in the chicken stock.  Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Let cool a bit and puree in a blender.  Reheat to serve.  I served mine with a slice of crispy Nueskes bacon and a dollop of sour cream.  

You know I'm not finished with the bacon right?  With the fat rendered from frying the bacon, I fried some wild gulf coast pink shrimp.  Nothing else, just the shrimp.  I served the shrimp topped with a simple poached egg, some sauteed spinach and a hunk of Manoucher baguette, my favorite.  


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