Comfort Food & Best Friends: Homemade Potato Soup & Crusty Bread

My BFF was coming for dinner one night this week, and I wanted to make one of her favorites.  Jill loves creamy potato soup, especially on these cold winter evenings, so I was excited to make it for her to enjoy for dinner with Marty and I since her hubby is out of town.  How lucky for me to get to have extra time with her!!!

HoI found a recipe for Crockpot Potato Soup and thought that would be perfect – I could prep it in the morning, let it cook while I work, then finish it up after work and enjoy the evening with Jill.

So I started peeling and dicing the potatoes.  The recipe called for 3 to 3 1/2 lbs, but I decided to double it to assure there would be plenty leftover for Jill to have for the rest of the week to take for lunch or have for dinner at home.

potato soup 1

And as a side note:  Marty would be so proud that I actually used the vegetable peeler tool to peel all 7 lbs. of potatoes!  What a hassle!  I usually just use a paring knife to be quicker, but I do waste an awful lot that way…   I had a bag of red potatoes and several loose russet and Yukon Golds.  I used every single one of them.

potato soup 2

Then I chopped two wonderfully large sweet Vidalia onions.   I’m not the best chopper/dicer.  I just don’t have the patience to “finely” chop or dice.  Marty and Jake are so much more precise.  I like to refer to my style of chopping as “rustic.”  Doesn’t that sound so much more artistic and purposeful than “too lazy to bother?”  🙂

Next the recipe called for chicken broth.  I didn’t have any canned or boxed, but I did have chicken base, which makes a wonderful and much less expensive broth.

potato soup 3

Since I was doubling the recipe, I needed 10 cups of chicken broth.

potato soup 4

Well – I have a pretty large crockpot, but wasn’t thinking straight (Disclaimer:  it was like 7:30 am, and I was only on my first cup of coffee), so 7 lbs. of diced potatoes and 10 cups of chicken broth…. well – not happening in the crock pot…. And there was more to add….

The recipe didn’t call for garlic, but c’mon – what savory dish doesn’t taste better with some freshly minced garlic in it?  Again – note the “rustic” mincing job I do with my garlic…

potato soup 7

And just because I had it – – and because it is yummy – – – I wanted to throw in some fresh “rustically” chopped rosemary and sage.  Oh the wonderful aroma!!!!

potato soup 8

So before I had a huge mess, I dumped it all in a LARGE pot – way too large – but whatever – it fit – and too big is better than too small (for soup pots)!

potato soup 6

Next – the recipe called for a cup of evaporated milk.   I had one can.  I needed 2 cups (doubling – remember?)  One can does NOT equal two cups….

potato soup 5

… so I just filled the remaining half cup with Half and Half.  I dumped poured it in the pot, then added a dash of salt and pepper.

According to the crockpot recipe, this is all to simmer on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours…. I put a lid on the pot, set the burner to simmer, and it only took about an hour of simmering for the potatoes to be fully cooked and soft.  So it just sat there (and the flavors melded) for the day once done.

After work, when I was ready to finish the soup, I melted 2/3 cup butter in a medium saucepan.  Once melted, I whisked in 2/3 cup flour and cooked for a couple minutes.  I then whisked in 4 cups of the potato soup broth.

potato soup 9This was then added to the big pot and cooked for about 10 minutes.  While that was cooking, I fried up a pound of sliced bacon, chopped a handlful of green onions, and grated some cheddar cheese.

potato soup 10I stirred half the bacon, onion and cheese into the pot, along with a cup of sour cream…

potato soup 11I reserved the rest of the bacon, green onions and cheese for garnishing on top of the soup.

potato soup 13

And because nothing goes better with warm, creamy soup than rustic crusty homemade bread, I made a loaf for dunkin’.  (You can find the recipe for this super-easy, no-knead, three ingredient crusty bread here from a previous post.)

potato soup 12We filled and warmed our bellies, and then……  the best part….. my favorite holiday show was on!  RUDOLPH the Red-Nosed Reindeer!  And I got to watch it with my bestie!

And Jill got to take a big container home to enjoy for the rest of the week.  It was a pretty great Tuesday! 🙂

Here is the recipe (the SINGLE recipe that FITS in the crockpot!) as posted by www.CookingClassy.com.

Make it however you like, add whatever spices you like, substitute whatever you need…. That’s the beauty and fun of cooking!

Yield: About 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch pieces (about 7 medium potatoes, 8 – 9 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced (1 cup)
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz)
  • 9 oz bacon, cooked and diced or crumbled
  • 4 green onions, diced

Directions

  • To a 6 or 7-quart slow cooker, add potatoes, onion, chicken broth, evaporated milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and cook on HIGH heat for 4 hours or LOW heat for 8 hours (poke potatoes with a fork to check make sure they’re soft).
  • Ladle out 2 cups liquid from soup mixture in crock pot into a liquid measuring cup, set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour 2 cups liquid in measuring cup into butter mixture (it will thicken quickly). Pour butter mixture into slow cooker and stir to blend. If desired, mash potatoes with a potato masher to break down into smaller pieces or use an emulsion blender to puree. Cover and cook on HIGH heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Turn heat off (or to warm), stir in sour cream. Serve warm topped with cheddar, bacon and green onions (you can just mix in those three remaining ingredients into slow cooker or top individual servings).

Ho

Cheers & Warm Hugs,

Jodi

I am submitting this post as part of my #Writing201 Assignment: A How-To How-To – We all have something we can teach others. This week, dig into your bucket of expertise to pen an instructional post.

19 thoughts on “Comfort Food & Best Friends: Homemade Potato Soup & Crusty Bread

  1. Yum I haven’t made potato soup since last winter. I should do that tonight. Your photographs are really good. I was going to do a food blog post for Writing 201 but my pictures won’t look like that 🙂

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  2. Oh, the heavenly scents coming from your kitchen that day! I love making soup, too. I’m really looking forward to baking your Crusty Rustic Bread, Jodi! I’ve never made bread, so it looks like the perfect recipe for me! Warm winter wishes! ♡

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  3. Pingback: Easy Rustic Apple Tart | life in between

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