Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

  Two things you can count on in Florida in the summertime:
   1) Rain
   2) Humidity
So you may think soup wouldn't necessarily fit in very nicely with those two things, but to me there's just something really comforting about a nice, warm soup on a rainy day. The other day it was actually a little chilly in the house with the A/C on and the gray skies outside. So it really was the perfect day for this soup! Also, the weather is so fickle here in North Central Florida that you can't turn your A/C way up in preparation for rain because the sunshine state will just change her mind and the sun will pop out and you'll be stifling. I call it yo-yo weather because it's just all over the place. Trust me, this is one that shows up quite frequently during the fall and winter too. It's so quick-cooking and doesn't get much easier than a crockpot, really. Since it does come together so quickly, you don't have to have it in there in the morning; if you forgot to toss something in there until lunchtime, this soup saves the day!

Makes 4 Servings

1 20oz package refrigerated shredded hashbrowns ~or~ 1 32oz. bag frozen shredded hashbrowns
3 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 oz. cream cheese
Shredded cheddar cheese
Cooked and crumbled bacon
Sliced green onions

In a greased crockpot dish, stir together the hashbrowns, broth, cream of chicken, chopped onion and seasonings. Cook on low 2-3 hours. Place cream cheese in and cook another hour, then stir everything together and leave on warm until you're ready to serve. Serve with cheddar, bacon and scallions.

If you use frozen hashbrowns, you may need to adjust the cook time accordingly and you may also want to stir in another cup or so of chicken broth if the extra potatoes soak in all the liquid leaving it too thick. I don't use canned soups, I have a dry mix that I stir up as a cream of chicken soup substitute that is a lot better for you--no added preservatives or anything like that--and also a lot better tasting too! I'll be posting that recipe soon. It's also cheaper than the canned soups. I never buy them anymore. Hope you like the soup, it's a favorite in our house!

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