Baked Potato & Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Baked potato and broccoli soupTo me, the perfect loaded baked potato is this: huge perfectly baked spud topped with copious amounts of cheddar cheese, steamed broccoli, a little sour cream, salt + pepper and maybe a few green onions. If you consider it blasphemy for anyone to utter the words (or in this case, type the words) "loaded baked potato" and not follow it up with bacon. Well. You'll have to forgive me. But hey, it's your kitchen. So you do what you want, and I will do the same. :) Now let's talk soup!Potato and broccoli cheddar soupBaked Potato & Broccoli Cheddar Soup, makes 4-5 servings

3-4 large baking potatoes
4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
1/2 cup cream (I used half and half, whole milk would be good too)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt + pepper to taste
sour cream and green onion to garnish

First peel and chop up your potatoes. In a large crock pot combine the potatoes, chopped onion, minced garlic and stock. You want the stock to full submerge the potatoes, so if you find you need a little more or less do what's right for your particular crock pot situation. Cook on high heat for 6-7 hours.
Broccoli cheddar soupDuring the last half hour of cooking add the broccoli florets. You want these to soften and turn bright green by the time the potatoes are soft. Use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients. You could also do this in a blender or food processor working in batches. If you do use your blender be careful as you transfer and pour hot liquids (honestly I really do recommend an immersion blender if you like making soup at home). 

Now stir in the cream and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cook until the cheese has melted and everything is warmed through. Serve with sour cream and a few green onions. Warm up your nights with soup! xo. Emma

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