Slow-cooker Baked Potato Soup

by Beth on January 27, 2010

After a long blogging hiatus, I’m back.  While I haven’t been blogging regularly, I’ve been tracking my kitchen adventures and have a number of fun recipes to share.

In the dead of winter, nothing is better than a warm, hearty bowl of soup.   Panera’s Baked Potato soup is a favorite of mine,  so I was intrigued when I saw a copycat recipe on A Year of Slow-cooking.   While the flavor differs somewhat from the original, this soup is smooth, creamy and rich… the perfect meal for a cold winter’s night.

Honestly, it doesn’t get much easier than this.  I find potato soups very messy when cooked on the stove – you need to make sure that things don’t boil over or stick to bottom of the pan, and clean-up is a pain.  With this recipe,  you just throw everything in the slow-cooker and walk away.

Beware:  this recipe makes a lot of soup – easily 10 generous servings.   The soup is so tasty, you probably won’t mind an abundance of leftovers.  :)   It filled my 6 quart Crock Pot with only about an inch to spare, so make sure you use a 6-quart or larger slow-cooker if you choose to make a full batch.

Slow-cooker Baked Potato Soup
Yields 10 servings

5 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced in 1 to 2-inch chunks
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 quarts chicken broth
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, green onion, chives, shredded cheddar cheese

1. After peeling and dicing potatoes, place them in the slow-cooker (use 6-quart or larger). Add onion, garlic, seasonings and broth.
2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for four hours.
3. Once potatoes are fork-tender, use a masher to mash the potatoes.
4. Break up both packages of cream cheese and add to slow-cooker. Put the cover back on.
5. Cook on high for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Once cream cheese is completely dissolved, serve with desired garnishes.

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