Slow Cooker Potato Soup

So one of the things that represents a skill that we seem to be losing is the ability to cook economical, healthy foods. I know all the excuses, like “I don’t have time” “It costs too much” “It doesn’t taste as good”, and I have only one thing to say to that one: Bull!
One of your best friends in this case is a slow cooker, or what almost everyone around here calls a crock pot regardless of brand. These things are amazing and really take away the first excuse that you don’t have time. They are the set and forget appliance of the kitchen. Add your ingredients, turn it on, and after a day’s work, you have a hot, home cooked meal just waiting. What’s even better, you have one thing to clean at the end, and even then, there are some items on the market that will keep you from even doing that. Disclaimer: I’ve only ever used the Reynold’s brand liners, and really only recommend them if you’re doing something super sticky and messy.
Tonight, I made a potato soup in my slow cooker, which took me all of fifteen minutes to prep, then seven hours to cook down, and another 15 minutes to put in the containers for later. Who honestly can say they don’t have 30 minutes to make a meal that will put a wholesome, somewhat healthy (yeah, dairy and carb alert here) course on the table? So, with that, let’s get started on how to make a pot of this.
Tools you’ll need:
  • Slow Cooker
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon
Basic supplies, right? Now, for ingredients:
  • 6 to 10 Red Potatoes, depending on size
  • 3 Tablespoons of All-purpose flour
  • a pack of bacon bits (the real ones, not the crunchy ones)
  • 1 small to medium red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 packet of ranch dressing mix (the dry powder mix, not the liquid)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • Shredded cheese and green onions (to make it look pretty at the end, presentation, you know)
Ok, so when we get back from the grocery store, it’s time to get down to business:
First, gently rinse your potatoes to get any dirt from the field off of them, then using your knife and cutting board, cube the potatoes. You’re looking for chunks of potato about the size of a 6-sided die (No, not the D-20, put that away). Once you got them all cubed up, toss them into the bottom of the slow cooker’s crock and dust them with the flour. Now, you want to chop that onion up and throw those pieces into the crock as well. Crush/mince your garlic clove and add it, throw in the bacon bits, ranch dressing, and salt and pepper. It should look weird, but that’s ok. Add in the water against one side to start with, a cup at a time. Once that’s in, put the lid on, and turn it on. Now, you have about six to eight hours to go do something else between giving it a stir every so often if you want to. When that timer goes off, add the half and half to the crock and give it a good stir. Let it cook another fifteen minutes or so, then turn the cooker off, and you should see something like the picture here
CookedSoup
Now, get out your bowls and ladle some of that soup on in there. Put some of the cheddar on top and cut little bits of the green stalk of the green onion and make it look pretty before you put in on the table, because presentation is important. You want it to look good for everyone, right?
Garnished
Get out some containers, and start filling those up as well, but let them cool on the counter while you eat dinner before you put them in the fridge for tomorrow of the freezer for later in the week.
Now, isn’t this better than a trip to McDonald’s for the same stuff or a microwaved meal on the table that’s full of salt or other stuff? The greatest part here, you can make this your own. Have some fun, if you have a flavor you like, add it in. Cooking is more about the experimentation than following a rigid recipe, and the more you experiment, the more you will like the results, because they’re your results. So go on, get in the kitchen and have some fun.

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