This lightened up version of your favourite warm, comforting soup comes together in a pinch in your rice cooker. Enjoy this soup either hot or chilled.
To prepare leeks, cut in half lengthwise. Leaving about 1 inch of pale green, cut off dark green leaves and discard. Separate remaining pale green and white leaves and wash under cold running water. Slice leeks into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces (approximately 3 cups).
Add butter, leeks and garlic to rice cooker. Press the menu select to STEAM function and press START. It will automatically set for 10 minutes.
Peel potatoes and coarsely chop. You should have about 4 cups.
Once STEAM function is complete, open the lid and stir. Add thyme, salt, chopped potatoes, broth, water and bay leaves. Press the menu select to SOUP and press START. It will automatically set for one hour. Timer will beep after one hour.
Turn off rice cooker and purée soup using a hand blender or in batches using a food processor.
Taste and add salt and pepper, if required.
Serve with chopped parsley and a dollop of hot sauce or sour cream, if desired.