Since the leaves are fluttering to the earth and the wind has taken on a familiar chill, it's definitely time to start putting together hearty soups, stews, and chilis. But those delicious dishes often benefit from hours of slow simmering, even if we don't have the time to babysit them on the stove. So pull out your slow cooker and get ready to enjoy a bevy of seemingly quick meals in your bowl. It's nice to look forward to a sprinkling of these hearty meals specifically designed to take advantage of your slow cooker and free you up to tackle your day and look forward to a warm bowl of autumn's finest comfort food when it reaches the end.
Our final installment in our slow cooker soup series features potato leek soup. This classic soup combines some of our favorite comfort foods with a rich, creamy broth to warm you heart and soul. This particular version gets an extra flavor boost from dill. If you happen to have some fresh herb on hand, it makes a striking addition and will set this soup apart from other versions you've enjoyed. If fresh isn't available, opt for dried dill weed … just don't skip it. Trust me on this.
This is the kind of soup that does beautifully when paired with a hot ham and cheese sandwich or a tuna melt. The combination will have you smiling. It's the perfect end to a day spent outdoors in the ever-colder weather. Get inside and warm yourself from the inside out!
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 leeks, chopped (light green & white parts only)
- 1 (32 oz.) container, chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- ½ tsp. dried dill weed or 2 T. chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 T. cornstarch
- Salt & pepper, to taste
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, fry the chopped bacon. Add in the chopped leeks. Cook until the leeks are soft and the bacon is crisp.
Transfer the bacon and leeks to your slow cooker. Stir in the chicken broth, water, potatoes, celery, and seasonings. Stir well, then cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
During the last 30 minutes of cooking, whisk together the half & half with the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Stir into the soup and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese and additional crumbled bacon, if desired.
- Yields: 6-8 servings
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus 6-7 hours simmering time