Friday, February 27, 2015

Slow-Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

8 slices  OSCAR MAYER Bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp.  flour
1 carton  (32 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 lb.  large baking potatoes (about 6), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided
1/2 cup  milk
1/2 cup  BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1/4 cup  chopped fresh chives

COOK and stir bacon in large skillet on medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels; refrigerate until ready to use. Add onions to drippings in skillet; cook and stir 5 min. or until crisp-tender. Stir in flour; cook and stir 1 min. Add 1 cup broth; cook and stir 2 min. or until sauce comes to boil and thickens. Pour into slow cooker. Stir in remaining broth and potatoes; cover with lid. Cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours (or HIGH 5 to 6 hours).
USE slotted spoon to transfer 4 cups potatoes to medium bowl; mash until smooth. Add 1-1/2 cups cheese to remaining mixture in slow cooker; stir until melted. Stir in mashed potatoes and milk; cook, covered, 5 min. or until heated through.
PLACE bacon on paper towel-covered microwaveable plate. Microwave on HIGH 20 to 30 sec. or until heated through. Serve soup topped with bacon, remaining cheese, sour cream and chives.

Comments:  This recipe came from Kraft and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to give it a try.  I did make a couple of changes to the method but not the ingredients.  First, I didn't cook mine in a slow-cooker.  I used a large pot.  I didn't remove the 4 cups of potatoes after they were cooked but used a potato masher and simply mashed some of them in the pot.  I also added my sour cream at this point instead of serving it as a topping.  Using the large pot cut the cooking time to about 1 hr. total but if you're looking for a dish you can put on before going to work, do follow the slow-cooker directions.  Now for taste.  This has to be one of the best soups I've ever cooked!  And I have to admit that it was even better the next day after the flavors blended.  This is a must try recipe for anyone who loves a good, creamy soup.
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