Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall Soup: Potato, Broccoli & Cheddar

Its starting to feel a lot like fall here in Chattanooga! Fall is my favorite season, I love to cuddle up with warmth surrounding me, watch the leaves change color and feel the brisk air outside. One thing I love for fall especially for my tummy is a good hearty soup. I hope you enjoy this as much as my Husband and I did. He is still talking about it (days later).

Potato, Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Here's what you need!
  • 8-10 slices thick cut bacon (Or more for you bacon lovers)
  • 1 Medium Onion, minced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves about 1 1/2 tsp, minced
  • 1 Medium size crown of Broccoli (or more if you'd like), cut into small florets
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth - I used regular sodium but you can use low sodium it won't change the taste
  • 6-8 Medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half
  • 3 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream (light or regular- doesn't matter)
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp Salt and 1/2 tsp Pepper or more to taste
Not pictured: Broccoli and cream cheese, sorry i'm human! Forgot them! Ha! :)

Step 1: Cook the Bacon in the oven on a baking sheet lined with foil at 350 for 12-15 min. Your bacon will cook evenly and not shrivel up! Yay! Tip: This makes for an easy clean up to, when foil has cooled roll up and throw away. No dealing with grease or washing yet another pan!

I know there is a lot pictured there, you only need 8-10 pieces, I'm using the rest for another recipe!

Step 2: Heat Skillet on medium high heat with about 2 tbsp of Cooking Oil (I used Olive Oil). Meanwhile mince the onions. I have a great Pampered Chef Product that makes it easy: Manuel Food Processor

Step 3: Add the Garlic and Flour
It will start to smell soooo yummy!
Step 4: Mix ingredients well- It should become lumpy. Tip: Pour flour only onion, not directly on pan. You are currently making a rouge, aren't you proud of yourself!
Step 5: Add in 1 cup of Chicken broth and stir till mixture becomes thick. During this time turn your crock pot on to low. You will be adding the hot mixture to it so you'll want it to be warm to avoid cracking the stone.

Step 6: Turn the mixture to low/simmer while you dice the potatoes. (Next time I will cut mine smaller). You want them to be small enough pieces to fit on your spoon!  Remember to rinse your potatoes before you peel. I warn you because I forgot and had to rinse after- much harder to handle!

6-8 Medium Potatoes: Should be equal in cups.

Step 7: Add you rouge (onion mixture), the potatoes, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, thyme and the remaining amount of Chicken broth (3 cups) to the Crock Pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs.

Step 8: About 1 hour before serving. Take about three cups of the potatoes out of the crock pot and mash them with the half and half, sour cream, cream cheese and shredded cheese. Mix well and pour back into the crock pot along with the broccoli florets and bacon pieces. 

Here's what the bacon looks like- You can do this step anytime.

I used my Pampered Chef Salad Choppers to cut my bacon. I've always found that cutting bacon with scissors is so much easier than using a knife. Then I added it to the Manuel Food Processor to get it even smaller.

Step 10: Enjoy! Top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Other ways to make this yummy meal.
1. Leave it on the stove instead of crock pot, it won't change the taste. (If you plan to leave the house, go with the crock pot.)
2. Sub bacon for ham or Canadian bacon.
3. Leave out broccoli to make it a Baked Potato Soup and serve with bake potato toppings such as chives, chili, various cheeses, gravy the possibilities are endless there.
4. Make it Gluten Free by substituting Rice Flour.

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