“Baked” Potato Soup

This is a recipe I adjusted slightly from Southern Living’s Slow-Cooker Cookbook.  Both the slow-cooker and the book were gifts from my ever-generous mother-in-law.  I’m still really new to the slow-cooker realm, but I do like the idea of starting dinner in the morning and being done with it.

I have put this under vegetarian, because it could be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken and by leaving the bacon topping off.

In a 5-quart slow cooker, combing:

  • 6 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 3 3/4 pounds)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken stock  (the original recipe called for three 14 oz cans chicken broth with roasted garlic)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Cover and cook on high 4 hours or on low 8 hours or until potatoes are tender.  Then mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soup is slightly thickened.  Stir in:

  • 1 cup whipping cream or half-and-half
  • 1 cup (4 oz) sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Top with:

  • Sour cream
  • Turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (Make sure your bacon has no nitrites/nitrates)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Two-Bean Chili with Avocado

Two Bean Chili with AvocadoThis is a super easy and frugal recipe. Though we enjoy it on an almost weekly basis, it is especially nice to usher in the cooler weather of fall.  

I adapted it from a recipe published in Better Homes and Garden. My version makes a very large batch, which is nice if you’re planning on feeding a crowd or if you just want to have leftovers to freeze or eat later in the week.

In a large crockpot, soak and then cook until tender:

  • 16 oz dried kidney beans
  • 16 oz dried pinto beans

While the beans are working, cook in a large saucepan for 3 minutes (unless you want to make the super-simple version of this chili, in which case you can skip this step altogether without missing a ton):

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano, crushed

Once the beans are ready add the onions and oregano to the beans and stir in:

  • 56 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 24 oz salsa

Continue cooking in the crockpot until everything is warm. The nice thing about a crock pot, is that everything can sit until you’re ready to eat.

To serve, top/serve with any or all of the following:

  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • cheese
  • sour cream
  • extra salsa
  • chips, cornbread, or rice