Monday, October 15, 2012

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I've had a slow cooker for decades--a gift from a dear aunt who, in later years, came to treasure one.  Mine has rarely been used.  I had two concerns.  One was leaving the cooker on when I left the house.  The other came from my sister saying the slow cooker kept foods at a temperature that allowed bacteria to grow.  Now, decades later, I've reasoned that neither concern should stop me since I haven't heard of mass accidents and/or illnesses through the years.

Somehow, baked potato soup has never appealed to me.  It has been on menus for years and I've seen many recipes.  And, I love loaded baked potatoes!!  A few weeks ago, along came Mary of One Perfect Bite with a recipe for slow cooker baked potato soup.  To know Mary is to trust Mary.  She cautioned not to taste the soup until the end and, hard as it was, I didn't (maybe I will next time).  

The soup was delicious--so good, in fact, that I felt like kicking myself for missing out on bowlfuls through years past!!  There was a bit leftover for the cook's lunch the next day and it might have been even tastier then.  Here's the recipe from Mary who got it from "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker".

I halved the recipe since it was just the two of us and am giving you those proportions.  It served us twice.  Double the ingredients to serve ten to twelve or have delicious leftovers!!  I used the same cooking time as the whole recipe suggested.

Baked Potato Soup

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup sour cream (not nonfat)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 ounces of bacon, cooked until crisp, well drained and crumbled
3 green onions, sliced or 2 Tbsp minced fresh chives

1.  Put potatoes in the slow cooker and add water to cover.  Cook on HIGH until potatoes are cooked and falling apart, about 5 hours.
2.  Turn cooker to LOW; add butter, half-and-half,  sour cream, salt and pepper.  Stir.  Cover and cook until hot, about 20 minutes.  (I pureed the soup a little with an immersion blender so that's a bit of a change but not a necessary one.)
3.  Stir in the crumbled bacon and sliced green onions or chives.