Tuesday, September 4, 2012

 “Lightened-up” Bacon, Potato, Leek Soup
 I couldn’t resist the leeks at the farmers market this weekend so I knew that potato leek soup would be in my near future. I decided to use the pretty purple potatoes that I had to give it a unique touch. Yes, I did use 2 slices of bacon, (gotta cheat every once in a while), but it added a lot of flavor to the soup, so I’m not regretting it. This batch was far more flavorful than my last batch and it really hot the spot. It tasted like an ultimate stuffed baked potato. Make sure you have a blender or food processor on hand to give it a nice creamy texture!

Usually I stay away from creamed soups when eating on the road because they can be high in calories and leave me feeling full and groggy (thanks to heavy cream and butter). Making cream soups at home is a different story because you can tailor the recipe to your own needs and slash calories and fat along the way. Potatoes act as a natural thickening agent, so they give a creamy texture without any added fat. I swap the heavy cream for a 1% milk to lighten it up. One serving (1 cup) is only ~125 calories!

This soup and a salad would make a filling lunch or dinner any day of the week. I opted for a small bowl and served it with some colorful carrots and sliced pork tenderloin. It was a very nutritious and delicious Labor Day meal!

Bacon, Potato, and Leek Soup
Serves 8

3 leeks, cleaned
2 slices of sliced bacon, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium potatoes
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup reduced fat milk
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
Pepper, to taste

1. Bring a medium size pot to a rolling boil. Add potatoes and boil until soft, Drain and slightly mash potatoes.
2. Cut off the ends of the leeks, and dice the white and light green stalks into small pieces (don’t include the dark leaves). Put the bacon in a frying pan and sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and sauté for about 10 minutes.
3. Add chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
5. Puree soup in a blender or food processor until smooth (Be careful as soup is still very hot). Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup portion
125 calories, 18 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 4 g fat, 2 g fiber, 120 mg sodium

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