Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pimiento Cheese Potato Soup with Pimiento Cheese Sour Cream (Extra Thick Slow Cooker Version)

This soup happened because we ran out of gas on the morning of the single coldest day in Mississippi this year.  Maybe even in like 20 years or something.

I knew a couple of days prior that snow and ice were coming, and I cannot even tell you how much I prepared.  Grocery shopping.  Meal planning.  Wash done.  House cleaned.  Cute snow boots pulled out of closet.  Camera batteries charged and ready.  

Cookies were made.

But the one, tiny little detail that we forgot to check on was how much gas we had in our propane tank.

Not nearly enough, turned out.

This is the gas that heats are entire house, and makes the flames come on in my gas stove.  The flames that I use to cook food over so we don't starve.  [Inserted tiny bit of drama there, true.]

So, at 3:30 AM on the coldest day of the year [and that is not a dramatic statement, it really was], the day when the ice and snow would hit and we would be trapped in our homes and all there would be to do is to eat and look at the (gas) fireplace and try to stay warm, our pilot light goes out and we have nothing.

But that's not the bad part.

The bad part is that just the night before, my husband was talking to our son-in-law who just so happens to be our GAS man and is working extremely long hours this time of year, about how BAD it is that PEOPLE DO NOT PLAN AHEAD and PREPARE FOR COLD WEATHER, but instead WAIT TO THE LAST MINUTE TO CALL THEIR GAS MAN TO COME OUT IN THE DANGEROUS WEATHER AND FILL THEIR GAS TANKS!!!


You do NOT know how much I did not want to call my son-in-law to come fill our completely empty gas tank.  

I made my husband do it after I forbid him to do it, but realized we might freeze to death by 9:15 AM if we didn't get heat.


(In our defense, we JUST got gas a few weeks ago and it has been so cold here that I guess we just used it up much faster than we are used to.)

Anyway, there was a happy ending.  In the early hours of the frigid morning, before we got the guts up to call our gas man to stop by, and because I was totally obsessed with getting it all done so I could play in the wonderful, fluffy snow the second it started, I improvised my recipe and made it in my slow cooker and it turned out to be the best potato soup I have ever made.

This soup is super thick, which I love, but still has some potato lumps, which I also love.  Read my notes below and I am going to tell you how I did it (mostly) without measuring.

My notes:

--I did not measure the potatoes but I used enough to fill my slow cooker a little over 3/4 full.  Then, I just poured enough water to cover them, then added in about 2 tablespoons of chicken base to flavor.  I just eyeballed it.  You could use chicken broth or stock.

--By the time I stirred in my heavy cream, bacon, and cheese, it was almost to the top.  I have a 5 quart slow cooker, by the way.

--I loved the sour cream topping on it.  Pimiento cheese spread inspired, of course.

--You could definitely make this on the stove top.

--This is super thick, so be aware of that.  If you wanted it thinner, you could put less potatoes and more liquid.  You could also just use the potato masher and not the blender, but I really liked blending part of the soup for the consistency.  It was key to me.

Pimiento Cheese Potato Soup with Pimiento Cheese Sour Cream (Extra Thick Slow Cooker Version)

6 slices bacon
1 whole medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 pounds (approximately) russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
6-8 cups (approximately) chicken stock or broth (or equal part water plus chicken bouillon cubes or chicken base)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups  shredded medium cheddar cheese, divided
2 (4-ounce) jars chopped pimiento peppers, drained and divided
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste 
1 1/2 cups sour cream

  1. Fry bacon or cook in microwave until crisp and done.  Crumble and set aside
  2. Place the onion, celery, and enough peeled and chopped potatoes in a 5 quart slow cooker to fill to about 3/4 full (mine was just a little bit fuller than 3/4).  Pour in chicken broth to just cover vegetables.  Cook on high until soup is simmering gently all over the surface.
  3. Stir in 1 cup heavy cream and continue to cook until potatoes are very tender.  Using a potato masher, mash some of the potatoes so they break down and become thick.
  4. Place about 4 cups of the potatoes and soup in a blender and process until smooth.  Stir back into the soup in the crockpot.
  5. Toss 2 1/2 cups of the cheese with the flour in a small bowl until cheese is coated.  Gently stir into the soup until melted.  Stir in the crumbled bacon and 1 1/2 jars of the drained pimientos, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for about 30 more minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, remaining cheese, and remaining pimientos (chop if they are in long strips). 
  7. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls, then place a dollop of the pimiento cheese sour cream in the center.  
Here are some scenes from Wayne County from the great snow and ice storm of 2014.

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  1. I am going to try this with a jar of pimento cheese since I love it so much. Can't wait to try your recipe.

  2. This sounds delicious and just right for a cold winter day!

  3. This looks awesome! Just wanted to let you know I featured you in this recipe round-up. Thanks for all the great recipes. :)