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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cheesy Baked Potato Soup

I've been remiss in my baking and cooking this week! On Thursday evening I appeared at Odyssey Storytelling here in Tucson to talk about my experience with an organ transplant. Odyssey is always a wonderful experience and you meet such interesting and diverse people. I was pleased to make the acquaintance of Susan Collinet who is house manager for Rogue Theatre here in Tucson. I also got to meet a wonderful acting coach, Philip Bennett, who has a local acting school and had some great tales from his youth! There were many other wonderful folks telling stories. We also had a full house and I had the chance to speak to a number of people both about cooking and organ donation.

With that going on, I didn't get much baked. Then the weather changed from hot and dry to cold and wet in the space of 48 hours. My degenerating bones didn't really like that change of events and so Friday and Saturday I was in some serious pain and didn't feel like doing anything in the kitchen. Finally, early this morning I decided to get something going.

What I decided to make is a potato soup based on the flavors of a loaded baked potato. This is really easy to make in a slow cooker and you can put it on in the morning before work and have a great soup ready when you get home in the evening. It was perfect for the slightly cooler day today (it's warming back up into the 80's now).

If you're pressed for time you can use prepackaged shredded hash brown potatoes. Personally, I think Ore-Ida are about the best. If you use the frozen kind, make sure you thaw them before putting them in your slow cooker or you'll end up needing a longer cook time. Just set them in the fridge the night before or thaw in your microwave. If you prefer to do it by hand you'll need about 6-8 russet potatoes peeled and then shredded with a grater or food processor. Just weigh your end product to equal about 32 ounces of shredded potatoes.

This soup is super tasty and sprinkled with shredded sharp cheddar, green onion, chives, cracked pepper and a dollop of sour cream when served it will knock your socks off!

Recipe: Cheesy Baked Potato Soup

Summary: Layers of flavor create a luscious baked potato soup with chives, onion, garlic and cheese right from your slow cooker.
Cheesy Baked Potato Soup served with Rosemary Crackers


  • 32 oz. shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion, plus extra for topping
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots (optional)
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup crisp crumbled bacon (or bacon bits)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives for topping
  • cracked pepper for topping (optional)


  1. In a 3-4 quart crock pot add water, broth, onion, green onion, carrot, salt, pepper, and potatoes.Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours until potatoes are tender. Add flour to heavy cream and stir until smooth. Add cream mixture to crock pot and cook on high for 20-30 minutes or until mixture is thickened.
  2. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Cook on low for 10-15 minutes then turn to "keep warm" setting.
  3. When ready to serve, sprinkle crumbled bacon, fresh chive, optional cracked pepper, and a little green onion over each bowl of soup and serve warm.

Quick Notes

To save time use frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (Ore Ida work great). Be sure to thaw before putting in crock pot.

Total time: 8 hour 30 min
Number of servings (yield): 6
Meal type: dinner
Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)
Copyright © Buck Bannister and Sugar Pies.
Recipe by Buck Bannister.

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