Sorry, I’m not sorry for posting the second Crock-pot dish in a row. I am officially obsessed with all things fall foods and easy. I want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and eat steaming bowls of comfort foods while I catch up on my DVR. Preferably my blanket will have just been pulled warm from the dryer. And I will have a cup of peppermint tea on my right. Mmmm, I am more relaxed already!
I used to think potato soup was high maintenance and required a lot of time and effort to execute. I have scrolled through the recipe boards on Pinterest boasting perfect bowls of potato soup with envy; I want all the flavor and none of the stand-over-the-stove-babysitting-the-pot kinda thing. Some of us have piles of laundry, vacuuming, and a week’s worth of Real Housewives to catch up on but still want a hearty, delicious dinner to look forward to. Crock-pot meals are perfect for busy days because all the ingredients for the soup are simply thrown in; they do their magic while you attend to all your chores!
Potatoes and leeks really do make the most creamy and decadent soup. I used yukon gold potatoes because their skins are thin and don’t need peeling. Peeling potatoes is my least favorite cooking activity; I usually solicit volunteers to peel potatoes during the holidays (now accepting applications). I also fall back on the fact that the skin has lots of vitamins and fiber; who wants to get rid of that?! Leeks are in the onion family but have a much milder flavor than regular yellow onions (bonus: they won’t make you cry when you cut them). Because leeks are grown in a lot of sandy soil it’s recommended to cut off the tops then slice them lengthwise before running under lots of cold water (gently separate the layers to make sure no sand makes it in your soup).
There is a secret ingredient in this soup; a rutabaga! It just looked so beautifully ugly at the Farmer’s Market and I was afraid if I didn’t take it home then no one would. So I bought it, peeled its skin, chopped it up, and threw it in with the potato soup…it was the considerate thing to do. No butter or oil is used in the making of this soup (thanks to the Crock-pot) allowing caloric room for a pour (or two) of half and half at the end to create an even silkier texture. Top the bowls of soup with shredded cheddar, scallions, and/or bacon and settle in for a deliciously hearty one pot dinner…
Note: Not all vegetable broth brands are gluten free; check labels if avoiding gluten. Or better yet, make your own broth!
- 2 leeks, washed well (see note above) and chopped
- 8-10 medium yukon gold potatoes, chopped
- 1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6-8 c. low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 3/4 c. to 1 c. half and half
- shredded cheddar, for serving
- sliced scallions, for serving
- 2 slices cooked and crumbled bacon, for serving (optional)
- salt/pepper, to taste
Cut the tops off the leeks leaving the white and light green portion. Cut lengthwise and run under cool water to remove any sand that may be hiding between the layers.
Slice into half moon shapes and place in Crock-pot insert.
Cut the potatoes into bite size pieces and place into the Crock-pot insert.
Cut the top and bottom off the rutabaga and peel the skin using a vegetable peeler or by carefully running a knife down the sides. Cut into cubes, the same size as the potatoes, and add to the Crock-pot.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the broth; the liquid should cover the potatoes but not completely submerge them. Cover the Crock-pot and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 7-8 hours.
The liquid will begin to bubble and the potatoes and rutabagas will become extremely tender.
Before serving use an immersion blender to puree the soup completely. Alternately you could transfer the soup to a blender and puree in batches.
Pour in the half and half and stir to combine; season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
Ladle the potato leek soup into bowls and garnish with cheddar, scallions, and bacon (if using). I served the soup with a green salad to round out the meal. This soup is packed with vegetables and is the perfect dish for a cool fall evening. Enjoy!