Creamy One-Pot Leek, Potato, and Bacon Soup without Cream is one of my all-time favorite meals. It's like a fully loaded baked potato in a bowl of soup.
I have been making this soup for years. It is so easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. Nothing is better than coming home to a warm bowl of soup on a crisp spring evening. Smooth and creamy this soup is full of flavor.
I love the combination of leeks and potatoes so much! I even created a roasted version with added cauliflower.
The secret to a cream-free creamy soup is to puree the potatoes. If you want your soup to be a little chunky, only purée half of it. No cream or additional dairy is necessary.
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Why you will love this recipe
- This is a thick rich comforting soup. It is basically the best bowl of mashed potatoes you will ever have.
- Easy tio make, this soup is made in a single pot so clean up is a breeze.
What is a leek and how to you pick the best ones?
Leeks are a member of the allium family which also includes onions, garlic, scallions, shallots, and chives. In fact, they look like overgrown green onions. They have a mild slightly sweet onion flavor.
When shopping for leeks look for leeks that are about an inch in diameter with dark green stems and the roots still attached which will help them stay fresher longer. Leeks should be firm with no signs of wilting.
What part of the leek do you use to make soup?
Typically just the white and light green parts of a leek are eaten. The darker green parts have plenty of flavor but are a bit tough. They are great for making homemade stock.
As leeks grow, the soil is piled up around them, so that more of the leek is hidden from the sun, and therefore lighter in color and more tender. But this also results in sand and dirt being lodged within the layers inside the leek.
How to clean leeks:
- Rinse the leeks under water to remove visible dirt or sand.
- Cut off the roots and the dark green tops of the leeks and slice the leeks in half lengthwise.
- Chop the leek halves into semi-circles.
- Rinse the chopped leeks in a bowl of cold water. Use your hands to agitate the leeks and dislodge any dirt or sand that may be clinging to them.
- Pour the leeks into a colander to drain.
What are the best potatoes for soup?
Not all potatoes are created equal. Some are better suited for certain tasks in the kitchen than others. When choosing a potato for this soup there are a few characteristics you should look for.
Because we are not using cream, we need a potato that will easily break down and help to thicken the soup while also providing a smooth, creamy, and velvety texture.
Different varieties of potatoes have different starch contents. Starchy varieties do not keep their shape very well and break down as they are cooked. Their high starch content also makes them absorbent. This combination of characteristics makes them ideal for thickening this leek and potato soup without using cream.
Starchy varieties of potatoes include:
- Idaho Russet
You could also use potatoes with a medium level of starch. These varieties include:
- Yukon Gold
- Purple Peruvian
For this recipe, I have chosen to use a combination of Idaho Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes. Idaho Russet potatoes will provide the creaminess while the Yukon Gold potatoes insure that there will still be some chunks of potatoes.
Bacon: Bacon adds a nice crunchy salty contrast to the smooth leek potato soup.
Unsalted Butter: Butter adds a nice richness to the soup.
Leeks: Typically just the white and light green parts of a leek are eaten. The darker green parts have plenty of flavor and are great for making homemade stock.
Idaho Russet Potatoes: Idaho Russet potatoes break down almost completely when they are cooked and will provide smooth creaminess to the soup.
Yukon Gold Potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes hold their shape when cooked ensuring that there will still be some chunks of potatoes in the soup.
Bay Leaf and Fresh Thyme: If you don't have fresh thyme you can substitute dried thyme. I suggest starting with 1 teaspoon you can always add more if the thyme flavor isn't strong enough.
Chicken Stock: You could also substitute vegetable stock.
Large Pot: I love simmering soups in my enamel-coated cast iron dutch oven. The thick bottom helps to keep the soup from scorching.
Immersion Blender: This is my favorite stick blender and it is available here on Amazon. They really do make blending recipes like this soup easier because I don’t have to worry about transferring the soup to another container. Once you are done blending just place the end in a bowl of soapy water and blend for a few seconds to easily clean the stick blender.
Saute the bacon in a large pot until it is crispy. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain.
In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook over low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until the potatoes have softened.
Remove the bay leaf and thyme. Remove ⅓ of the potato mixture to a bowl. Using a hand blender, puree the remaining soup until smooth. Return the potato mixture to the pot.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with your desired toppings.
I like to set up a toppings bar so that everyone can choose their own toppings for their bowl of soup. Some toppings to offer are:
- Crispy Bacon
- Diced Green Onions
- Shredded Cheese: Cheddar and Gouda are my favorites.
- Sour Cream
My favorite way to serve Leek, Potato, and Bacon Soup is alongside a piece of crusty bread and a side salad. You could also serve it along with a delicious sandwich. My favorite is a turkey club or grilled ham and cheese.
- If you don't have an immersion/stick blender you can also puree the soup in a food processor or blender. If you're using a blender, purée the soup in batches. Don't fill the blender more than a third full at a time, and remember to hold down the lid while the blender is going.
- To make this leek and potato soup vegetarian, skip the bacon and increase the butter to 4 tablespoons. Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
If you have leftovers, allow the soup to come to room temperature and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Can You Freeze Leek and Potato Soup?
This soup freezes really well. As a bonus, because there is no dairy you don't have to worry about the cream separating when frozen.
Allow the soup to come to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container or zip-top bag. Label the container with the contents and date. Then freeze the soup for up to 3 months.
Sometimes there is a little separation in soup once you freeze and defrost it. If this happens, just purée the soup again until smooth.
Looking for more delicious soups? Try one of these.
Thanks for Reading!
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