Recipe By : America's Test Kitchen
Serving Size : 6
8 ounces bacon -- chopped
1 onion -- minced
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme -- or 1/2 tsp dried
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 pounds russet potatoes -- peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
3 scallions -- sliced thin
Cook bacon on stove top in a skillet until crisp. Drain, reserving 2 tbsp of the fat and cool bacon pieces. Refrigerate for later use in topping soup. Meanwhile, in reserved fat, saute onions, garlic and thyme until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add flour, whisking to incorporate thoroughly. Cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth, making sure to scrape up any of the browned bits in the pan. Pour all of this into the crock. Add potatoes and remaining broth. Cook on low for 4-6 hrs or until potatoes are tender. Once tender, transfer 2 cups of the potatoes to a bowl and mash until smooth. Add cream to this. Mix shredded cheese into soup to melt, reserving 1/2 cup or so for topping. Add mashed potato mixture back in and stir to combine. Heat through, about 5 more minutes. While heating, microwave bacon bits from earlier prep for 20-30 seconds until warm. Serve soup with bacon bits, reserved cheese and scallions.
"Slow Cooker Revolution"
I did NOT peel the potatoes since in my opinion the peel is part of what I like about baked potatoes. This worked just fine. I also did not remove the potatoes to mash until smooth. Instead I took my manual potato masher and just mashed up the soup in the crock before adding the cheese and cream. I also added another cup of broth to the soup since it was very thick and I didn't want it to burn in the crock while on "warm" waiting for hubby to get home from work... This was by far the best crockpot potato soup I've made. I didn't have scallions on hand so didn't use them and think I might consider adding a dollop of sour cream to the top sometime...