Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cheesy Baked Potato Soup

I'm a huge fan of the crockpot, seriously the best invention ever. As a mom of 4 I have stuff to do and if I don't want to worry about what time to start prepping dinner (4pm) and what time dinner needs to be served before kids are starving (5:30pm) then I use the crockpot. Throw it in around noon and cook it till you're hungry, best way to cook any meal if you ask me.... Anyhow, one of my favorite meals is potato soup. I just love it's creamy, cheesy, hearty, warmness (its a word...I think), especially on a day like today (and the 2 previous days) where it's rainy and chilly all day long. I'm one to mess with ingredients and try new things from time to time so this recipe can be changed to fit anyone's flavor pallet. I've made a similar recipe in the past but since this one really won me over I thought I'd post it for the lovely people who read my blog.

4 Large Potatoes
1 1/2 smaller containers of chicken stock (more or less depending on how thick you want it. Also try to go sodium free if you can, it's healthier and doesn't have a flavor difference)
8oz package of cream cheese (works fine to use low fat as well)
2.5oz package of bacon pieces(I just bought the generic from Walmart and it was 2.5oz so use however much you want)
1cup shredded cheese (more or less depending on how cheesy you want it)
Mrs. Dash Original seasoning
1/2 package of Ranch seasoning.

Wash potatoes and make sure to cut off the "eyes" (mine were already staring at me, I bought them 2 days prior...) and dice into half inch pieces. I like to leave the skins on because I'm a)lazy and b)think the skins are good for you (think my mom convinced me of that so if it's true or not I don't really know). Then throw them in the crock pot and pour in chicken stock and a DASH of MRS. DASH (I'm soooo funny right?! lol) mix up so the seasoning isn't just sitting on the top of your soup and leave on high for 4 hours or so.

Once your close to the 4 hour mark set your cream cheese out for a little while to help soften it up. You don't have to do this but if you don't it makes it difficult to mix into your soup. And to help even further take 1 fluid cup of chicken stock from your soup 

Now cut your cream cheese into 8 or so pieces so that you can easily whisk into your stock. This may take some mashing if you didn't let it sit out long enough but it works out in the end. If you need a little more stock to help mix it, do so, it won't hurt anything. 
Should be smooth once you're finished mixing

Stir the mixture back into your crock pot, will look a little runny at first but will settle after 5 minutes. Add your bacon and shredded cheese. Along with your ranch seasoning (the ranch was a total after thought when I made this because I thought it needed something else).
Looks like a loaded bake potato huh?

Like I said, let it sit for 5-10 minutes. It will turn out cream and yummy and the cheese will be well melted by this time. Enjoy!!

I fed 5 people on this and had a lot leftover!!

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