Nothing says comfort food, to me, quite like a bubbling pot of Potato Leek Soup. Especially on a chilly day.
My grandfather was famous for his potato soup, which was actually his mother’s recipe … and she was an O’Hara. So … Irish and potato, it doesn’t get much better than that.
This recipe isn’t his … because truly, my diet doesn’t allow for it. This, however, is a good substitute. It’s trim … both in calories and on the budget. One of these days, however, I’ll have to treat my boys to his version and they’ll know why it was famous.
On the healthy side: a one cup serving of this soup yield 280 mg of potassium; an essential electrolyte important for keeping a balance of water and fluids in the cells. Potatoes have the highest amount of potassium of any food as well as a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
A Lighter and Healthier Potato Leek Soup
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices turkey bacon
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup leek, sliced thinly (white and light green only — about 2 leeks)
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups russet potato, diced (about 2 pounds)
5 cups water
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup nonfat milk
Cook turkey bacon in a dutch oven or soup pot until crisp. Remove and set aside. Once cook, crumble bacon.
Heat butter in the same pot until melted. Add onion, leeks and garlic, saute 5 minutes. Add water, potato, pepper and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 20-30 minutes or until potato is tender.
Personal Preference: I like some chunks of potato in my soup so I do not puree the batch. However, I do use the back of my spoon to hand-mash much of the potato, leaving chunks for texture. A potato masher would work as well. If you prefer a smoother texture, use an immersion hand blender or puree in batches in your blender.
Add milk and a tablespoon or so of your chopped turkey bacon; cook over low heat until thoroughly heated. Serve warm garnished with chopped parsley, shredded cheese and reserved turkey bacon.