Sunday, 28 August 2011 things I've Pinned!(Betty Crocker's Cheesy Potato Soup)

I've been debating with myself about getting a slow cooker. I have concerns about food being too mushy, but when I asked on twitter, rather a lot of people felt quite strongly that slow cookers are very good and if you are careful, you can avoid mush.

I mostly want to get one because if we continue to live here, and therefore I continue to nanny, I don't really want to be cooking when I get home not much shy of nine pm  when it's freezing cold in the middle of winter. When you have an almost unheatable flat, standing at the cooker is quite pleasant, but doing so that late and not eating 'till close to ten isn't(at least not on a regular basis). It will result is us living on pizzas from the supermarket, and we all know they don't taste as good as they look. They taste of cardboard and disappointment.

Since I started think about it, I have been occasionally Pinning slow cooker recipes. This one, for Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup, with it's picture reminiscent of macaroni cheese, is one of those ones that could either be ace or really, really bad. Pushed on by my cold addled, carb-obsessed brain I decided to find out. My current lack of slow cooker wasn't going to get in the way.

The original recipe calls for various ingredients from Betty Crocker frozen packs. I substituted fresh, and added more fluid (I assume the frozen ones have been at least partly cooked). I also substituted a leek for half a stick of celery and half an onion. And added bacon to the soup base. Extra bacon is never a bad thing.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup (without a slow cooker)
(adapted from the recipe by Betty Crocker)
Serves 4, or makes two lots of dinner for two people

1 large leek, diced
2 rashers of bacon, diced
675g potatoes, diced (i didn't peel them, but if you are not keen on skin, do)
950ml chicken stock
1cup water
180g white mature cheddar
2/3 cup milk (I used a mug. I am not that precise clearly)
2tbsp plain flour

optional topping
3 rashers bacon, chopped small
4 small potatoes diced.
tsp flour
pinch of salt and pepper
20g cheese
pepper to taste

  • if you are doing toppings, pre-heat oven to 180c
  • In a big soup pot, put a little oil, leeks and the two rashers of bacon, and cook till bacon is cooked and leeks have softened
  • add all of potatoes (inc ones for topping), give a quick swish round, and add stock and water.
  • bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins with the lid on
  • remove 20 of your potato cubes, which should now be par boiled.
  • stick lid back on pot and continue to boil
  • pat your cubes dry, shake in a little flour, salt and pepper
  • put a little oil on a baking tray(is used a small cake pan) and chuck on coated potatoes
  • cook in the oven for 25 mins, turning occasionally
  • at this point, remove tray and add your chopped up bacon for toppings and return to oven
  • Remove when bacon bits are crisp (was 15 mins for me, but keep an eye out) and potatoes are golden
  • stir your flour into milk and add to the soup
  • cook till soup thickens a bit, about 20 mins
  • chuck in cheese, stir till it melts
  • serve with a quarter of  toppings sprinkled on each bowl (if you are keeping two portions back, keep in fridge and stick potatoes/bacon under the grill for a bit when you re-heat your soup)

This maybe isn't soup to have every day. It's filled with carbs and cheese, so not the healthiest option. But when you are filled with the cold, it's tipping it down and windy outside and you spent the whole day at the Fringe the day before, walking around and getting soaked, it's very comforting. The bacon and cheese make it a bit like macaroni cheese, but the saltiness of the stock and the texture of the potatoes make it a bit like boulangere potatoes too. I was worried it would be a bit too thick and cheesy, but the additional stock balances out both the thickness and the cheesiness. It definitely came out on the ace side of could be good or bad.

I have actually decided to buy a slow cooker. Sainsbury's have them for £20. It's not an awful lot to lose if I end up not using it.


mathildeheartmanech said...

ooh this looks good, this looks very good.
Hope you start feeling better soon m'dear. Meanwhile get a hot toddy down you too xx

Linsey said...

This looks amazing! I also really want a slow cooker. I got a book of recipes out of the library just to look at the things I could cook if I got one. Then i realised we have literally nowhere to put it in our miniscule kitchen :(

Spare Thoughts said...

ooh this looks good for a cold autumn evening.
Apparently slow cookers and vegetarian food don't mix. So I'll be round for a casserole or two.

Jules said...

yum! I can't believe it's nearly time again to eat soups, where has our summer gone?! (it is bank hol monday in eng, wal & ni today... not sure about you scots!) - I'll prob get my mum to make this dish (she hates me cooking - apparently she's banned me from the kitchen!!!)

Jules @ A Bit of Jules

Siobhan said...

I hope you feel better soon and like the way you freshened up the recipe. I think a slow cooker would be an ace way to ensure you eat not long after you get in so is a good buy.

conversationpieces said...

Supermarket pizzas do taste of cardboard and disappointment!! Loving the look of this soup... we were just talking about starting to make soup again. N doesn't quite want to give up on summer just yet though! ;)

amy b.s. said...

this definitely looks and sounds amazing!

TheFoodieHistorian said...

I LOVE my slow cooker! Pie fillings, stews, casseroles, curries, soups. The key is getting the liquid quantity right - because not mush steams off, you don't need as much as on a hob. It'll just be sloppy otherwise.
You can also slow cook beans and lentils in them if you use the dried ones rather than tinned - much cheaper and tastier!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love my slow cooker - and I am glad slow cooker season is starting (I don't use my slow cooker in the summer...)

My fave recipe is the one in this blog post:

My cousin subbed a pork tenderloin for beef and said it was awesome. The sauce is so good, you will want to lick your plate!

Gaynor {Our Day by Design} said...

mmm looks so yummy; we got a slow cooker as a wedding present but havent used it yet! Maybe when the baby comes!