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Creamy Crockpot Potato-Cheese  Soup
Soups & Stews

Great for make-ahead, good comfort food!

Makes approximately 5 quarts.

I was afraid that this recipe would be really bland, but it turned out to be really rich in flavor. The original recipe is from the allfood.com website; their recipe called for 5 pounds of potatoes, and less liquid than I have in my version. I used fewer potatoes because it just seemed like a huge amount and I ended up adding more and more liquid to the mixture throughout the cooking time.  I changed a few other things as well, e.g., doubling the bay leaves and the garlic. 

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
4 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
cup all-purpose flour
2-3 cups water
1-2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons chicken base dissolved in 1 cup warm water
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 bay leaves
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
6 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled

In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Cook onion in butter until translucent. Add diced celery, carrots, and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and stir to coat. Add 2 cups of water and heat to boiling, and then stir in 1 cup milk and the dissolved chicken base in water. Bring to near boiling again. Salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, place peeled and diced potatoes in slow cooker or crockpot. Add the heated vegetable mixture to the potatoes. Stir in the bay leaves, cover and cook for 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Remove bay leaves. Take out four cups of the soup and puree in a blender, then add back to the slow cooker (or else use an electric mixer or immersion blender to partially blend the soup). Add more liquid (chicken base in warm water) if needed.

The original recipe said to add the cheese and bacon just before serving, stirring in to melt the cheese however, I think it would be nice to use the cheese and bacon as a garnish in each bowl just as the soup is served.

Variation: Add some green chile to this to kick it up a notch!

A suggestion for leftovers: use to fill potato skins for twice-baked potatoes!
 


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