Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup






This soup is perfect for ushering in fall: It’s hearty enough for the beginning of soup season, yet brothy and veggie-packed so that it doesn’t feel too heavy. Pair it with a slaw or kale side salad and crusty whole-grain bread for a light, satisfying dinner. This recipe is ideal for a weekend, when you can check on the slow cooker after just a few hours; though you won’t be able to leave the soup unattended all day, this still offers the benefit of hands-free, fuss-free cooking. Either baby red, Yukon Gold, or fingerling potatoes will work well here, as they’ll maintain their shape nicely during cooking.

Total Time: 4 Hours Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 4 center-cut bacon slices, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 2 teaspoons salt-free garlic-and-herb seasoning blend (such as Mrs. Dash)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leek (from 2 large leeks)
  • 1 cup sliced carrot (from 2 large carrots)
  • 1 cup sliced celery (from 2 large stalks)
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson), divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 12 ounces baby potatoes
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Set bacon aside.

Step 2

Sprinkle chicken with seasoning blend. Add chicken to bacon drippings in pan; cook 8 minutes, browning on all sides. Transfer chicken using a slotted spoon to a 6-quart electric slow cooker, reserving any drippings in pan. Add leek, carrot, and celery to drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add leek mixture, bacon, remaining 3 cups stock, salt, pepper, and thyme sprigs to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours. Add potatoes; cover and cook on LOW for 2 more hours or until potatoes are tender.

Step 3

Remove chicken from slow cooker with a slotted spoon; discard thyme sprigs. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces; discard bones. Return chicken to slow cooker; add spinach, stirring until spinach wilts.