Recipe: All the soups!

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Author: Raevyn Tsornin, January 2018

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Winter is finally here! (and many of you Americans in the south had snow/winter surprisingly before I did in the Midwest) Winter is when all the hearty soups to keep you warm are amazing. I dusted off my Cheese potato soup recipe. Why? Because we have found all the ingredients to make it dairy free for my husband. So with two crock pots going at once, dinner was enjoyed by all!!

Dairy Free Cheese Potato Soup

3 medium potatoes cut in to bite size pieces
4oz Daiya cream cheese style spread
10-12oz Daiya cheddar style shreds
1 cup almond milk unsweetened
1 cup chicken stock liquid
3 strips of bacon cooked and cut in to pieces (option to add all the fat it creates)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 to 1/3 onion (sauteed in butter or the bacon fat)
1 tsp garlic powder or one clove garlic (sauteed with onion)
salt and pepper

Cheese potato soup (with all the dairy)

3 medium potatoes cut in to bite size pieces
6 oz velveeta
8-10 oz shredded cheddar (1 bag)
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 strips bacon (cooked and cut in to pieces - option to add bacon fat)
1/4 to 1/3 onion sauteed
1 clove garlic (sauteed with onion) or 1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

salt, pepper, onion, garlic should all be added to your own taste - but it helps the flavor greatly to be part of the cooking process.

Here is where variations can happen for time sake or personal preference.

Potatoes: can be cooked all the way, part way, or not at all. If you are leaving it in the crock pot all day with no one home, you can place them in uncooked and keep the crock pot at the lowest setting or 200*F (93C) all day. If you are short on time or you will be home to stir occasionally, cook the potatoes then add everything together cooking until the cheese is melted. If you like firm potato - only cook half way before adding, if you like soft potato or even want to cream the soup, cook the potato all the way. My husband likes them soft as well as all the starchy goodness released in to the cheese. Many recipes will have you parcook potatoes in 130°F to 140°F water for 20 to 30 minutes as this helps them endure long cooking. And yes you would need a thermometer to assist your cooking.

We used russet potatoes for their high starch content. If you prefer a low starch potato, try New Potatoes or ones with red or white skin. Yukon Gold are good medium starch potato.

And the most controversial topic with potato: the skin. according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the skin of a potato contains half of its fiber (2g each), half the protein (3g each), and B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium and other nutrients. If you eat a medium baked potato, including the skin, you'll get nearly 4 grams of fiber, 2 milligrams of iron and 926 grams of potassium. If you are going to keep the skin, be sure to wash the potato well and remove any obvious blemishes before cooking.

how do you like your potatoes - in soup or stew?