I grew up thinking it was pretty much the best invention ever. It was one of the first things I learned how to cook and I could make a perfectly crispy strip of bacon with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back. [well… in theory] You can imagine everyone’s surprise when I went full on veggie and swore off the stuff.
But can you imagine my surprise when I realized not only could I not have my favorite sandwich, the ever-glorious BLT, but my favorite soup as well? It was a little slice of torture! Restaurant after restaurant offered up delicious baked potato soup and, every time I asked, I was notified that the bacon was not only a topping, but in the soup recipe itself. I was devastated. We’re talking years of rejection. Well it’s time to break out the crock-pot and tackle the soup! Sorry bacon, I love laughing at how many things you’re in… but you have to get the heck out of my soup
Healthy Loaded Baked Potato Soup… in the Crock-pot!
- 5 medium/standard-sized russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup finely diced celery [approximately 3 stalks]
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cups of vegetable broth
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup butter [I used salted]
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ cup sharp cheddar, grated
- a few cranks of ground black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp dried dill [add ¼ tsp first, taste, then double if you love it!]
- plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- freshly grated cheddar cheese
- zesty red pepper flakes
- chopped green onion
- note: I like my baked potatoes with a crispy kosher salted skin, so I used salted butter and kosher salt in the recipe. Feel free to use unsalted butter and then salt to taste. You can always add more at the end if you decided to later. Let your tastebuds be your guide! xo
- Chop your veggies and toss em in the pot!
- Next add veggie broth, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper.
- Set your slow cooker to HIGH and cook for 4 hours, or, if you're gone for the day, set it to LOW for 8 hours.
- After returning to your slow cooker, you have a very important [ok not that important] decision to make. Do you want your soup chunky or smooth?
- For smooth soup, use a potato masher or even an immersion blender to creamify the soup.
- For chunky potato soup, grab a wooden spoon and mash the potatoes partially. I went the fabulously chunky route and it came out deliciously thick and hearty.
- Ready to eat? Simply mix in your cheese, spices, and a spoonful or two of green onions. Taste, season as needed, toss on some toppings, and dig in! I wound up adding extra dill and a little more garlic powder... The flavor was spot on and I didn't miss bacon one bit! Success!
Say Cheese! Why do I use sharp cheddar and parmigiana cheese in this soup? They’re more flavorfu! This way you can actually taste them in the soup without having to use a boatload of cheese <– aka they save me calories so I can sprinkle a little fabulous cheddah and a dollop of greek yogurt as a garnish before I dive in! See? There’s a method to my madness. Well, sometimes.
So… How was it? I’m at a loss of words to describe how truly awesome this soup is. It’s everything I dreamed it could be and I could easily eat it at every meal. ok, ok — I HAVE been eating it at nearly every meal day after day. The fact that I’m not even close to being tired of this comforting crockpot wonder is a surefire sign of its amazingness. Is it still cold where you are? Make this! If it’s warm… let me come crash on your couch and I’ll make you a bowl. We can crank up the AC while we eat it and then hit the beach afterwards =) Tempting, eh?
Potato Oops: Don’t buy super giant mutant potatoes. You know the ones you look at and wind up with a food baby? If you use 5 of those you will end up with a crockpot filled to the brim with mashed potatoes. I am bound by an unspoken sisterly bond to refrain from ratting out the person responsible for this note Buy normal potatoes. Hehe!
Between this and the soups below, I’m set for the rest of winter!