Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup

Serve with 09 Pinot Grigio (no, really! It’s fabulous)

Imagine Mrs. Vino’s delight when her CSA Harvest Box contained leeks and potatoes! But alas, January is a busy time with bottling and paperwork. When oh when could she make her world-famous potato leek soup?? To the rescue – her slow cooker. Here is a super easy potato leek soup recipe!

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 medium leeks, cleaned, mostly white part (just a little green part), thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
4 slices bacon, diced (bacon makes everything better–sorry vegetarians–you could leave it out but it’s just not the same)
6 c. low fat chicken broth
1 c. evaporated low fat milk (not sweetened condensed milk!!)
1T red wine vinegar
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/4 t. red pepper flake

Brown the diced bacon in a non-stick skillet. When crispy, remove the bacon to paper towels to drain and pour off all but a teaspoon or so of the bacon fat (leave just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, my dears). Saute the sliced leeks in the little bit o’bacon fat. Add the bacon, red pepper flake, green onions, leeks and cubed potatoes to your slow cooker. How big should the potatoes cubes be?? They are going to cook all day so don’t worry about doing a tiny dice. Cut your taters into . . . like 8ths. Pour the broth over the veggies. Set the slow cooker to low and let it cook 6 hours (or until you get home from work). About 1/2 hour before you want to serve, add the evaporated milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and red wine vinegar and stir.

Now, what texture do you like your soup?? Mrs. Vino prefers a tiny bit chunky. So I take my potato masher and just smash up everything right in the crock pot. If you like a creamier soup, use your immersion (stick) blender or transfer the soup in batches to a blender and process. The final step: adjust your seasonings. Potatoes are seasoning hogs – they just soak everything up. So taste just before you serve. You may want to add a bit more salt, pepper and/or nutmeg.

Serve with a great big green salad.

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