crock pot baked potato soup

here is another football Saturday meal choice that is made in advance in the crock pot and served when guests are hungry.  since this is a crock pot meal, there is no need to be watching and stirring a pot of potato soup.  somehow this magically comes together and is quite a comfort food.

early in the day, gather at least 7 medium to large russet potatoes.  scrub the skins, and peel if desired.  i did not peel my potatoes.  next, cube the potatoes and add to the pot, with one large diced onion. salt and pepper the potatoes in the pot. i made 4 cups of chicken broth from cubes and added the broth to the crock pot.  at this point, judge the amount of potatoes to broth being used.  the potatoes need to be just covered, and not swimming in the broth.  if a thick creamy baked potato soup is desired, make certain to use enough potatoes. next, add 1/4 cup of stick margarine.

cover the crock pot and cook on high for at least 4 hours or on low for at least 8 hours.  open the crock pot and mash the potatoes with a hand masher.  add 1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2 or cream if desired, along with 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
continue to cook until the ingredients are incorporated.

serve with garnishes as desired.  i used chopped bacon, low fat sour cream and chopped chives from the garden.  additional toppings could be served, such as chopped black olives or additional shredded cheese.  this is a classic soup entree for fall football weather.  for hungry guests, serve with crusty bread, a side green salad, or even a half sandwich.

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