Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day: Loaded Baked Potato Soup

We have been waiting for a beautiful snow day in Virginia. We'll get a dusting now and again, but nothing like we experienced this particular weekend. Norfolk hasn't seen this much snow in many years. I woke up early and peered out the windows to the powder glistening below. A few paw prints scattered here and there, showed the depth of the beautiful precipitation. The bushes in the courtyard of our vintage building, shivered with layers and layers of snow.

After a pancake breakfast, we bundled up and ventured out to the winter wonderland. The squeals from my little girls made me feel like a child again. Snow and sleet pelted against the warm shell of our coats, and our snow covered gloves and mittens didn't stop the girls from having a snowball fight or from making miraculous little snow angels. Our tree lined street was covered with a solid white blanket.

I had thought early in the morning to put out several bowls to collect some fresh snow so I could treat the girls to some homemade snow ice cream. By the way, it was delicious and turned out great!

As we thawed out, I thought about the rich loaded baked potato soup that was simmering away in my crock pot. The aroma lingered in the air and wafted through the house. It was the perfect end to a beautiful snow day!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

1 bag frozen diced hash brown potatoes
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped onions
4 Tbl butter
2 cups less sodium chicken stock
8 ounces light sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese (your preference; I used colby-jack)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
salt and pepper to taste
5 slices crispy cooked bacon

Mix all the ingredients (except for the bacon) in your slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
Just before your soup is done, cook your bacon and chop into small pieces. Add to your soup and voila! Dinner is served! Enjoy!

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