This soup is creamy despite containing very little milk with a smokey bacon flavor and a slight peppery aftertaste. The peppery taste is from the leek, which basically looks like a green onion on steroids. I grew the leeks I used for this batch in my own garden, which was quite easy, but you can find leeks in pretty much any grocery store.
I prefer to use red new potatoes (large size) yukon golds because I like to leave the skins on for extra nutritional value and to cut out the step of peeling. Russets can be used as well, but I recommend peeling them first unless you enjoy a little grit in your soup.
I have genetically high cholesterol, which means I must strive every day to keep the saturated fat and cholesterol levels low in my diet (13mg of saturated fat for one day goes quickly). I have not been so good at sticking to this since getting pregnant with Big Monkey. My goal is to get back to that kind of healthy eating. So I used turkey bacon this time, but I really like the depth of flavor and saltiness that real bacon adds. For these same reasons I used half and half, although I should have just used nonfat or low fat milk like I have in the past. These milks provide a less creamy soup, but I usually just add a little less liquid and let the potato act as a natural thickener. It hasn't seemed to change the taste much in the past. You can also use heavy whipping cream for a thicker and creamier soup. Up to you.
Potato Leek Soup
- 8 large red new potatoes, washed and quartered
- 1 large leek (or 2 for more leek flavor), green parts sliced into thin ribbons (discard the white bottom)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 a package of bacon of your choice, chopped into bits
- 1 cup half n half, heavy whipping cream, or milk
In a pan crisp the bacon. Add the leeks and cook with bacon until tender (just a few minutes). Add to crock pot. Add in potatoes and chicken stock. Cook on low for 8 hours (I'm sure you can cook on high for 4 hours, but I have not tried). When finished mash and stir potatoes in the crock pot and add the cream/milk. If you are using milk rather than a thicker cream, then add the milk slowly and stop when soup reaches the desired consistency (you're aiming for creamy and not watery). It may take less than a cup (I often cook by sight, so many of my measurements are approximate). Enjoy!
If you would rather cook this soup in a pot. Follow the directions above but simmer all ingredients except the milk for 45-60 minutes until the potatoes are soft and are starting to fall apart and make the soup thick. Then add the cream/milk and serve.