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Potato Leek Soup with Pancetta
and warm shaved brussels sprouts salad

Active: 40 minTotal: 40 min

This wintery soup and salad combo plays with savory and sweet flavors and got great reviews when first featured in 2017. A quick saute of the shaved brussels sprouts brings out their natural sweetness and bright green color.
Smarts: While great served warm in this meal, the brussels sprouts salad will keep for several days in the fridge and is just as good served slightly chilled.
Smarts: The soup could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.


Potato Leek Soup with Pancetta:
  • Leeks - 2, sliced and rinsed
  • Potatoes, russet - 1 lb, peeled and chopped
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Pancetta - 4 oz (look for this pre-chopped in the deli section)
  • Butter - 3 Tbsp
  • Flour - 3 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 3 cups
  • Vinegar, white wine - 1 tsp
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek - 4 Tbsp
Warm Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad:
  • Brussels sprouts - 10 oz, trimmed and thinly sliced (look for pre-shredded to save time)
  • Cheese, Parmesan - 2 oz, grated
  • Dates, dried - 6, thinly sliced (sub dried cranberries, ~⅓ cup for 6 dates)
  • Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Maple syrup - 2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Almonds, sliced - 1/4 cup

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Brussels sprouts / Cheese - Slice off and discard stems of brussels sprouts. Prep by hand or use a food processor (which will make prep go very fast). Add shredding attachment to bowl and feed brussels sprouts through shredder. Wipe out bowl and put standard blade attachment in food processor. Chop cheese into large chunks and pulse in the food processor until grated. Store cheese and brussels sprouts separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Leeks / Dates - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  3. Potatoes - Peel and chop potatoes. If prepping ahead, soak potatoes in water to prevent them from turning brown. (Can be done 1 day ahead)


  1. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil (the portion for the soup) and then pancetta to heated oil. Saute pancetta until crisp and fat has rendered, 2 to 4 minutes.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. If there is excess grease in pan, drain off all but ~1 Tbsp / 15 mL (for 4 servings; adjust if customizing), or if the pan is dry, add a splash of cooking oil. Add leeks with a pinch of salt and saute until leeks soften and start to turn golden brown in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. Add butter and stir until butter melts. Sprinkle flour over top and stir until no dry spots of flour remain.
  3. Add stock while whisking to incorporate with flour. Add potatoes and vinegar and bring to a boil. Place a lid on the pan and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer until potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. While soup simmers, in a large serving bowl whisk together olive oil, mustard, and maple syrup. Set aside.
  5. Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil (the portion for the brussels sprouts) and then brussels sprouts to heated oil. Saute until brussels sprouts turn bright green but still have some crunch, 1 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add brussels sprouts to serving bowl with prepared dressing. Add cheese, dates, and almonds and toss to combine.
  7. When potatoes are cooked, blend soup with an immersion blender until smooth (skip this if you would prefer a chunky soup). Taste and season with some salt.
  8. Serve soup with a spoonful of yogurt and pancetta on top. Enjoy with warm brussels sprouts salad on the side.

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This meal has 53 reviews

Loved it! I may never use lettuce for a salad again! Definitely the best of the meals I made this week. I will make this again.

By: Carolyn
Posted: Oct 10, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

Favorite meal for this week

By: Taylor
Posted: Jul 05, 2019
Diet: Original

Yum! Both elements of this were fantastic. I didn't manage to find pre-shredded brussels sprouts and don't have a good attachment on a food processor, so the step of chopping up the brussels sprouts took quite a while, but otherwise I'll go back to this recipe for sure.

By: Jenna
Posted: May 28, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

Loved this soup! Sautéed some garlic with the pancetta and added thyme, oregano, paprika, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stirred a little heavy cream and the pancetta and garlic into the soup after puréeing.

By: Cammie
Posted: Apr 16, 2019
Diet: Original

Though I probably didn't make a true paleo version, it was pretty awesome. My 2.5 year old kept telling me how good it was, and the 5 year old had two bowls even though she wasn't feeling well. Husband ate it and didn't mind the cauliflower. I used leftover stock from making corned beef, which added a ton of flavor, and added some MSG, which gave it a hint of parmesan. Also browned everything longer than suggested. I figured the salad would be more amazing based on the comments, but it was okay. Quite sweet. Might have been better with cranberries because the sliced dates just wanted to stick together in a big clump.

By: Karen
Posted: Mar 27, 2019
Diet: Paleo

I didn't follow this recipe very closely, I'm afraid. No pancetta, since I'm a vegetarian. Was going to make coconut bacon bits, but in the end, I didn't want to go to the trouble. I couldn't find celery root to save my life, so I used regular celery. Perhaps because of the substitution, I found that it needed some creaminess, so I added a little half and half. Finished it with a dash of Old Bay seasoning, Parmesan cheese, and a swirl of olive oil.

By: Rachel
Posted: Mar 21, 2019
Diet: Paleo