Sunday, January 10, 2010

Creamy Potato Soup in the Slow Cooker

One thing that irks me about some slow cooker recipes is when you are asked to first brown all ingredients in a pot on the stove. For Pete's sake, if I'm going to dirty a pot, I'm going to cook the whole meal in it, start to finish. I know they have slow cookers now that can also brown meats, but I don't have one and I'll have to wait till my circa 1995 crockpot bites the dust before I will lay out more cash for the latest model. For now, if a recipe asks me to cook everything in a pot on the stove, then transfer it to my slow cooker, it doesn't make it into my mealtime repertoire. I categorically refuse to wash two pots for what ought to be a one pot meal.
I have extra justification for my refusal this week. My sink developed a nasty case of slow drip this week. Drip....drip....drip. At first, if I turned the faucet just right, it was an even slower drip. Drip............drip......................drip. But then, it surrendered to dripdripdrip and it had to be addressed. The Quiet Man put on a manly plaid shirt and curled up under the sink for all of Friday night. I was standing close at hand, worried about my sink full of dishes that I desperately wanted to wash so that I could feel that Friday night/peace with the world kind of feeling. At nine thirty plaid-clad Quiet Man informed me that he needed a special part to be able to fix the sink, so would I kindly check Home Depot on-line to see if it was open. Open till ten, I reported. Meanwhile, West found an old flyswatter in the junk that his Dad emptied from under the sink, so he naturally began to chase his sister around the house, who tripped over her Dad who was laying with his face inside the cupboard, fixing the sink. Sailor should seriously consider a career in voice-overs for radio murder mysteries; she can scream, shriek and wail like no body's business. Except I think people would change the radio station, at least I would have if I could have. WAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! MOOOOOMMMMMMMY!!!! HE'S CHAAAAASING ME WITH A FLYYYYYYY SWAAAAAAATER!!!!! We piled all of the ear-shattering chaos into the minivan and raced towards Home Depot, which was naturally dark, quiet, and closed since 9 o'clock. I know we're not supposed to believe everything we read on the Internet, but I thought the Home Depot website would have a little integrity. Didn't they know that a sink full of dirty dishes and my sanity were hanging in the balance?
Just a little peek into my platform for a minimum of dirty dishes. And with that, I'll share my Creamy Potato Soup in the slow cooker. This soup is satisfying, velvety and creamy. The rich flavor comes from a roux that would require dirtying another pan, but I've created a shortcut using a kneaded flour and butter mixture. I've tinkered and reduced cream and butter to the maximum I could get away with and still create a luxurious texture and mouth feel. You'll love the ease of preparing it, the taste of the soup, and the one (crock) pot clean up when you're done. And incidentally, my sink is working again. I think I'll give it the day off, to celebrate.
Money Saving Tips:
Use any potato that is on sale at your grocer's. Idaho russets are delicious, but Yukon gold and red potatoes make a very creamy soup, too. You can use baby carrots to save yourself peeling time. Swap out bouillon cubes for the broth. You can use low fat milk, but you might want to increase the butter a bit if you do.
Creamy Potato Soup in the SlowCooker
Estimated Cost: $ 5.00 for four large servings
Notes: Roughly chop your vegetables, since you'll mash them down later.
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used Yukon gold)
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried
2 tablespoons softened butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 -3/4 cream, half and half, whole milk, evaporated milk, or evaporated fat free milk
salt and pepper to taste
In a slow cooker, place the onion, carrots, potatoes, broth and parsley. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. Use a potato mashed to crush the potatoes and vegetables to an almost smooth consistency. In a small bowl, combine butter and flour until smooth. Using a wire whisk, combine butter mixture with soup, whisking until smooth. Pour in cream and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. IMPORTANT: If you are using milk in place of the cream, do not let the soup boil after adding.
Up Next:
Beef and Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker


Heidi said...

This looks so good today. I love potato soup, but my husband won't touch it, so I have veggie beef soup in the crock pot. I should just say heck with him and make some potato!

Catherine said...

This soup out of the crock pot always reminds me of my baby shower that you and Heidi did for me and Annabelle. I didn't know it could done in the crockpot until then, and now it's weekly staple in our wintertime diet. I'll have to try making my roux like yours, though. Thanks for sharing.

Julie Harward said...

I love slow cookers..I don't brown anything except hamburger, sometimes. this looks just wonderful..will try it! Thanks! Come say hi :D

Amanda said...

First off, the soup looks and sounds marvelous. Love your roux replacement, so smart! That bowl is gorgeous, love it!

And you crack me up with your screaming child and the all peace with the evening thing. That's so me! ;)

The Renouf Family said...

You cracked the code! Hooray!
I completely agree with you about the isn't-worth dirtying-two-pots issue. It ruins the whole point of the slowcooker!
Anyway, I'll be using this recipe soon. Since we have a 2 year old soup lover at our house. (She got it from Babs :) )
Thanks for all the help and recipes.

Katie and Mark said...

Mmmmmmm.....Off to buy some potatoes tomorrow! :)

Seth and Julie said...

If you keep it up with the soup recipes, my family may not be eating anything but soup for the duration of the Winter. I have never made a cream soup in the crock pot. I didn't even know it was possible. What a happy discovery! It goes in the pot tomorrow. I can't wait!

Chef Aimee said...

LOL! I agree with you on the issue of having to COOK the ingredients before adding them to a slow cooker. I just want to throw it all in!

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Michal said...

yay for shortcuts that spare another dirty pot! and yay for crockpot soups. i can't wait to try both of these recipes--as soon as we get back from evan's wedding. glad to know that i'm not the only one who can't relax and watch a movie knowing that the sink is full of dishes.

btw, i love your new year's resolutions.

Stacy said...

I so agree about having to dirty a pot. I usually forgo the recipe if it says that, or work around it. I just recently made potato soup for the first time, it was the Good Eats one. This one looks great, I will try it soon.

The Japanese Redneck said...

I totally understand taking a stand when making a one pot meal.

Soup looks good. Hope the faucet is fixed now.

The Cooper's said...

Yay! I have been meaning to make this for a while and I finally did tonight, and my hubby and I just ate was soooo yummy! Thanks a bunch, it was so creamy and delicious! :)

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