Friday, October 20, 2017

'Easy Peasy' Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

So cooler weather is starting to show itself around here... FINALLY!  This past week brought a little bit of a chill so my oldest requested one of his favorites, Baked Potato Soup.  I happily whipped it up, because it's EASY PEASY Y'ALL! I've picked bits from a couple recipes I've pinned & for the most part, just fell into a general recipe to go by.

Some great things about this recipe are:
-ingredients needed are CHEAP.
-easy to remember what to get to cook it on a whim.
-at our house (for now) we get a meal and usually enough for another night of leftovers.
-can easily be frozen to be warmed up later.

I don't pretend to be a chef, but I am a Mom of soon to be FOUR, three of which are boys... so hearty, affordable & easy are a winner in my book!

You'll Need:
* You can remove/add or change ingredients such as sour cream, onions etc as your family's tastes fit!

- 1 (30 oz.) bag of southern style hash-brown frozen potatoes
- 2 (14 oz. cans) chicken broth *I use a larger box, just easier & less to open LOL!
- 1 (10.75 oz.) can of cream of chicken soup
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 8 (oz.) package of cream cheese
- 1 package of bacon (cooked, cooled & crumbled)
- 1 handful of green onions, chopped
- 1/2 of a sweet yellow onion chopped 
- garlic to taste ( I use the jarred kind & usually roughly a tablespoon or so)
- sour cream (for topping)
- 1 bag original Velveeta shredded cheese
- loaf of french bread or a baguette

- Cook, cool & crumble the bacon (you can do this later in the day while soup is cooking or at beginning and add the bacon to 'stew' in the soup.... your call!
- I almost always use a crockpot liner, makes life a little easier for this Mama. But sometimes I forget to put in on & start dumping!  If you're like me, do that now!
- Set cream cheese package on counter to soften.
- Chop your onions ahead of time if you want.
- If time and stuff on hand permits I like to warm a little butter in a small pan and cook my sweet or white onions along with my garlic.  Doesn't take long, just a minute or two until fragrant.

Ready To Cook;
- Dump the hash-browns, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, 2/3 of the bag of Velveeta, 2/3 the cooked bacon in crockpot & cook on low for 4-6 hours.
- I always set my cream cheese on the counter to soften and then add it 30 minutes or so before serving.
* I usually just stir the ingredients to mix them a bit to begin with & then you can honestly walk away until 30 minutes or so before serving.  I use a potato masher to occasionally stir/mash... but again, that's not a necessity.  If I'm home & around I will... otherwise it cooks just fine regardless.
- At that '30 minute before done' mark add your cream cheese, green onions, salt & pepper (if needed/taste test) and just stir a bit.

For Plating/Topping:
- I usually heat the oven up & prepare some bread of some sort.  This stuff is AH-MAZING with warm, buttered french bread or a crispy baguette!
- The other 1/3 of green onion, Velveeta, bacon & sour cream I usually set on the island so the fam can add what they'd like to their bowls.

That's it... really that quick & easy... and I promise YUMMY!  This recipe fills my large crockpot & as I said you can make probably a meal two times over for a family of 4 or even split it in half and freeze some for a later date.  This is a great thing to whip up on a limited grocery budget, limited time, or just if you are craving something warm & will stick to your ribs.  The brands I use don't specifically matter.  I've used all generic/budget brands such as Great Value from Wal Mart and it's still just as good.  I shop there and HEB, the pic was snapped after a quick HEB trip. I only suggest sticking with Velveeta because, well, it's Velveeta & nothing tastes like it to me! The list of HITS at my house for the entire family isn't huge, there's usually one or two people that could take it or leave some stuff... but this ALWAYS gets me two thumbs up.

Scoop it up & enjoy!

P.S. if you decide to eat it as a leftover option, it's even yummier the second day!