Thursday, April 18, 2013

Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup

This is one of our favorite soups and the one I've been making the longest.  I first had it when I lived in Austria, my host brother made it and it was so good!  My husband was skeptical the first time I made it for him (about 6 years ago when we were dating), but he's become extremely fond of it as well.  Usually I make him chicken noodle soup if he's sick, but he said next time he has a cold, he wants this one!  It's also just perfect for a cold day, and sad to say it but halfway through April we still have a thick blanket of snow on the ground.  The original version has caraway and I'm not a big fan of it usually, but it is perfect in this soup.  It's also pretty perfect without the caraway so you can't go wrong either way! 
In the past I always made it on the stove, but it occurred to me that it should be just fine in the slow cooker, and I was right!  It's hardly difficult to make on the stove, but you have to stir it a lot as the potatoes cook so it doesn't burn, and the slow cooker makes that unnecessary.  If you do want to make it on the stove, just simmer everything but the sour cream in a big pot for about 2 hours, stirring every few minutes, especially towards the end.  You might need to add a bit more water or broth if some cooks off.  When it's finished, you may or may not need to use a potato masher (the stirring action tends to break down the potatoes).  Remove the soup from the stove and add the sour cream like the recipe says, then serve.

Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup
1 large leek, quartered and sliced (white and beginning of green part only)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced
8 C chicken broth
1/4 t black pepper
salt to taste, I ended up using a full tablespoon
optional: 1/4 t caraway seeds
2 C sour cream

Mix together everything but sour cream in a 6 quart slow cooker.  Cook on low about 8 hours or until potatoes are very tender and breaking apart.  Mash slightly with potato masher so only some chunks remain.  Stir in sour cream until completely incorporated, being careful not to allow the soup to boil.  Remove from heat and serve.  Soup reheats very well in the microwave, too!

Yield: about 10 servings