Baked potato soup has got to be one of the most comforting soups around. Warm, thick and packed with home-cooked flavor, it's rich and satisfying on a chilly day. I've never made my own - until now! I found a recipe for a potato cheddar soup that's made in a slow-cooker and decided to give it a try (and a few twists).
Baked potato soup
4 large or 7 medium russet potatoes
4 cups chicken stock
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/4 cup chives
6 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
3-4 oz. smoked gouda, shredded
4-6 slices bacon, cooked to crisp
Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Layer them in a slow cooker and pour 2 cups of chicken stock over them. Cook on high for 2 hours or until potatoes are just cooked through.
When potatoes are cooked, transfer them and the cooking liquid to a blender. Add the garlic and puree to desired consistency. You can make it smooth or leave it a little chunky if you prefer. Pour the mixture back into the slow cooker and stir in the rest of the stock. Stir until combined, then add both cheeses and stir again until the cheese melts into the soup. Stir in the half and half or cream chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat on low for 30 minutes.
To serve, sprinkle with the crumbled bacon or just stir the bacon into the soup.
NOTE: when adding the last two cups of stock, add it a little at a time so you can control the consistency. For thicker soup, add less, for thinner, add more.