Friday, August 7, 2009

Potato Leek Soup

This is a crock pot soup I like to make. It's pretty easy and very tasty. Traditionally, potato leek soups usually contain heavy cream, or other rich dairy products. My recipe uses nonfat plain yogurt. Note, usually when I write recipes, I say how the vegetables should be prepared in the ingredients list (such as one onion, minced), but since those instructions are a little more involved in this recipe, I have included them in the directions.

Potato Leek Soup, four to six servings

2 leeks
6 Yukon Gold potatoes
5 small/med cloves garlic
2 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium)
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried rosemary leaves, chopped
1 pinch thyme powder

1. Cut off dark part and ends of leeks. Halve lengthwise, washing off any dirt on or in the leeks. 2. Chop off about 1/2 inch off of light green part of each leek and reserve. Slice the rest of the leeks into thin half-rings (I used the slicer blade on my food processor).
3. On medium-low, heat pan, and then add butter and olive oil. Once melted, add leeks, sprinkle with pinch of salt, and allow to sweat for about 5 minutes. While leeks are sweating, you can do the following:
4. Smash garlic cloves and cut off hard tips.
5. Chop garlic and reserved leeks in food processor until very fine.
6. Add garlic and leek to pan and allow to heat through for about 1 minute, then mix into rest of leek mixture. Allow leeks/garlic to continue cooking until translucent and tender. While this is cooking:
7. Peel 3 out of the 6 potatoes. Cut all potatoes into varying sizes of cubes, ranging from 1/4 inch to 1 inch.
8. Add leeks and potatoes to crock pot, adding chicken broth, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
9. Cook on high for 1 hour or until potato chunks can be cut with edge of spoon. Take a potato masher and mash some of the soup, leaving some chunks. Stir to combine newly smashed potato parts with chunks.
10. Turn crock pot down to low. Add yogurt. The yogurt can leave some small white specks in the soup. If you don't want this, push yogurt through a fine mesh colander to smooth out lumps before adding to soup. Allow soup to cook for at least 10 more minutes, or until ready to serve.

If you prefer a more vichyssoise-style soup/you want to eat it cold, you can blend the soup with a hand blender or put it in a food processor before chilling. I find that with the smaller amount of dairy and using yogurt instead of heavy cream, the soup isn't nearly as heavy and filling. Living in Texas, that's definitely a plus in the summer. Leaving some of the potato skins on also adds fiber and some nutrients to the soup. So, this is a healthier alternative to the usual potato leek soup.

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