I am not a big soup eater, but there are two soups that I love. The first is the Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden. (Check out my version here.)
The second is Loaded Baked Potato Soup. I saw this slow-cooker version on Facebook and couldn’t wait to try it out. Yummy!
10 slices cooked bacon, diced
3 cups chicken broth
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried parsley
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk or half-and-half or heavy cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Add diced potatoes, diced onion, minced garlic, bacon, parsley and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 6-8 hours on low or on high for 3-4 hours, until the potatoes are fork tender.
Once the soup has cooked, add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat and melt. Whisk in the flour until completely combined and gradually add in the evaporated milk or heavy cream, depends which one you are using. Whisk the flour mixture until smooth. With the heat on the lowest stove setting, let the mixture cook until it starts to simmer and is getting thicker, stir occasionally.
Immediately add the milk-flour mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
Using a potato masher, mash about 3/4 of the potatoes.
Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream. Stir well, until fully combined and creamy. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking the soup on low for 30 minutes or on high for 15 minutes.
If the soup is too thick, add more chicken broth.
Serve warm, garnished with bacon, cheese and sour cream.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.