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Lox and bagel soup


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup finely sliced leeks (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped shallots
  • 455 grams Yukon Gold potatoes, skin on, chopped in 6 millimeter cubes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup full-fat cream cheese
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 115 grams smoked salmon, chopped into chunks
  • Salt and pepper, plus sea salt for sprinkling
  • 1 plain bagel, very thinly sliced


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt two tablespoons butter. 
  2. Add the leeks, celery, and shallots and cook until they begin to soften and are translucent, about ten minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and dill and continue to cook, stirring often, for another ten to 15 minutes.  Adjust the heat to avoid the shallots browning.
  4. Add the lemon zest and cream cheese and stir to combine. You don’t want any lumps of cream cheese, just a smooth, even coating across all the vegetables.
  5. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and fully cooked.
  6. Use a large liquid measuring cup to scoop up half the soup mixture  and transfer it to a blender to puree (I like to blend only half the soup so that some chunks of potato and bits of leek and celery remain for that chowder effect).
  7. Return the puree to the pot and stir to combine.  Add the chopped smoked salmon, have a taste, and season with salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Melt the remaining butter in the microwave and use a pastry brush to lightly coat one side of each slice of bagel, then sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  9. Spread the bagel slices, buttered side up, across a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake in the oven for ten to 12 minutes, until lightly browned and very crunchy.
  10. Top each bowl of soup with some of the bagel chips and serve.
  11. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for two days. Freezing isn’t really an option because of the cream cheese, so eat it all up!