Eco-friendly city living

Hearty and Filling Slow Cooker Potato Bacon Chowder

It’s mid-August, which means it’s nearly back-to-school time here. The summer seems to fly by faster and faster every year. We’re spending the last few days at the pool, thinking about switching wardrobes, and getting school supplies. It’s hard to believe that fall is just around the corner. But soon enough, I’ll be back to needing recipes that aren’t just easy but are hearty and comforting for the season.

Every fall, we go out apple picking and return with way more apples than anyone needs. Pies, cider, apple sauce—you name it, we make it all. But that takes time. And when we get back from picking, everyone is hungry. This is our go-to recipe for apple picking day (and plenty of others throughout the fall and winter). It makes a great dish on its own or pairs perfectly with a sandwich.

P.S. This is the recipe I made that won the Mom’s Talk Radio Slow Cooker contest. My family LOVES it. This is a smaller portion, but it’s easy to double the quantities to make more. It should all still fit easily in a standard slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Potato Bacon Chowder
Serves 2-4

2 cups potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large carrot, diced or grated
1 cup leeks, chopped, white part only
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups chicken broth (we use fat-free)
½ cup uncooked pearl barley
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp black pepper
4 oz cooked bacon
1 cup half-and-half

Combine all the ingredients in your slow cooker. Stir. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Top with shredded cheese, chopped green onions, or anything else that sounds good. Enjoy!

Note: For a lighter version, you can swap the half-and-half for low-fat milk and the regular bacon for Canadian bacon or ham. It won’t be as creamy without the half-and-half, but it will still be delicious.

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