Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What's For Dinner: Slow Cooker Creamy Potato Soup


Apparently it's soup week over here. After a dinner of bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) one night, the next day we revisited the same concept and had creamy potato soup with chopped leftover sausage. (I am totally getting my money's worth from the 99-cent 10-lb bag of Wisconsin russet potatoes I bought at the grocery store over the weekend.) I, of course, had to make the soup in the slow cooker to make my life easier. Twenty minutes of prep is all it takes to throw this soup together. If you'd prefer to make a vegetarian version, leave out the sausage (obvs) and substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth. I topped my bowl of soup with shredded monterey jack cheese and a sprig of fresh thyme; I think freshly chopped chives would also be a great garnish option.

Slow Cooker Creamy Potato Soup (adapted from this recipe)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped scallions (white parts only)
5 cups diced peeled russet potatoes (about 5 medium)
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth [alternately, use low-sodium veggie broth to make this vegetarian]
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence
pinch rubbed sage
1/4 cup organic half-and-half
1 cup cooked sausage or bacon, chopped [optional]
shredded cheese for garnish

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and scallions and cook until softened, about five minutes.
2. In a 4-quart slow cooker bowl, add together the cooked onions and scallions, diced potatoes, chopped celery, and minced garlic. Top with the chicken broth. Season with pepper, herbes de Provence, and rubbed sage (optional).
3. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
4. Thirty minutes before eating, puree the soup using an immersion blender, or in batches using a blender (being careful to allow steam to escape from the blender). Add the soup back in to the slow cooker. Stir in the half-and-half. Cook for an additional half-hour.
5. Stir in cooked sausage or bacon, if desired.
6. Top with shredded cheese and serve.
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