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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cheesy Potato Chowder

Are you running around like crazy? Trying to get it all done before the big day? This is one of my favorite soups and it's on the menu for this week.

It's a super easy crockpot that you could serve with your favorite bread.

6-8 med size potatoes; peeled, quartered/diced
1 med carrot or handful of baby carrots chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 Leek chopped
1 medium onion diced
4 C Water
4 Chix Bouillon Cubes ~ if you'd like to make this vegetarian, use vegetable bouillon without any taste difference
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t dillweed
1 t paprika
12 oz can evaporated milk..I typically use Fat free
1 C Frozen Corn
1-2 C shredded cheese, I used cheddar/jack mix tonight

Put everything in the crockpot EXCEPT for milk, corn and cheese. Cook on low 8-10 hours or high for 4-5. Mash potatoes a little. Add rest of ingredients, heat through and serve.

This is the carrots and celery. I said to "chop" them. Here is a simple rule I use when cooking, ask yourself "what size feels comfortable in my mouth". If you like bigger carrots, cut them bigger, just know that they might be a little crunchier when the soup is finished.

A leek looks like a BIG green onion. This is what it looks like when you cut most of the green off.

I cut it in half and proceeded to chop it. If I'm feeling lazy, I'll just use my kitchen shears to cut it into pieces directly into the crockpot.

Here's the onion, peeled and cut in half for easy chopping. If you run it under cold water, it keeps the tears to a minimum. You can also use a food processor to chop the onion. The onion will break down as it cooks but if you want it diced really fine, I recommend the food processor.

If you are saying that you don't like onions, well onion really gives this soup the flavor, I promise you won't notice the onion when it's cooked. A friend of mine who "hates" onion is none the wiser;)

I know I said 6-8 medium potatoes, but this is what I had. Size doesn't matter as long as it rounds out to at least 6 medium sized potatoes.

Peel your potatoes and chop in various sizes. You can be exact if you want to but I find that if you use different size cuts, you get a better texture. I don't like completely "creamy" potato soup but if you do, make sure your potatoes are more uniformly cut.

Here is everything except the milk, corn and cheese. Give it a stir, cover and leave it alone for 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 on high.

The old fashioned masher comes into play after the potatoes are soft. Use this directly in the crockpot to mash the large chunks. If you like a creamier soup, you could use one of those hand held beaters. As I said, I'm not a fan of creamy potato soup and I also don't play with too many gadgets in the kitchen;)

Now, shake your evaporated milk and pour it in. Add your corn..I prefer frozen but drained can corn will also work and the cheese. You can use any variation of cheese. I typically use something that involves cheddar. Give it a stir and heat through.

You're done. It also freezes well.

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