6 slices bacon, chopped
1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until fat has rendered and bacon is nearly crispy, 7 to 9 minutes. Add leeks, carrots, celery, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until leeks are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes and cook, stirring constantly, until starch begins to release and coat vegetables, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and bay leaf and bring to boil.
2. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Transfer 1 cup of vegetables (using slotted spoon) and 2 cups of soup broth to blender; process until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir processed soup back into pot. Stir in half-and-half, chives, and lemon juice and gently rewarm soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.