After a very busy Friday and Saturday, we are having a cozy, quiet at-home day today. Both boys are coughing and we're all exhausted from all the fun we had earlier in the weekend, so a nice quiet Sunday is just what we needed.
The weather is cool and gray today, so I decided a nice big pot of soup & homemade bread would make a perfect dinner. There's something about freshly baking bread that just makes your house feel so cozy! And my beer bread recipe is so super-simple, I make it every time I'm looking for that home-y taste and smell with hardly any effort.
Here's my potato soup recipe for the slow cooker. I've never made it before, but it's smelling really yummy!
Cheesy-Potato Soup in the Slow Cooker
1/4 cup butter
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can chicken broth
1 cup warm water
2 large carrots, diced finely
3/4 cups cauliflower, diced finely OR 4 stalks celery, diced finely (Jason HATES celery, so I used cauliflower for a little extra flavor & nutrition too!)
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup milk
5 pounds russett potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion in butter until translucent. Stir in flour until smooth, then gradually stir in broth, water, carrots, celery or cauliflower, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat through, then stir in milk. Place potatoes in slow cooker, and sprinkle with salt & pepper, mix. Pour heated vegetable mixture into potatoes. Place bay leaf in pot. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours.Remove bay leaf. Puree about 4 cups of the soup in a blender or food processor, and them stir pureed soup into contents of slow cooker. Stir in cheese and bacon until cheese is melted. Serve hot topped with shredded cheddar cheese and a little crumbled bacon.
You can use any carbonated beverage to make this bread. We like either Sierra Nevada Summerfest or Wheat usually. Today I'm using Bud Light with lime and I'm adding 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning for an herbed-cheese bread to go with my soup.
3 c. self-rising flour
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 can beer
2 tbsp. butter
Combine ingredients in order listed above and mix well. Put in well-greased loaf pan and top loaf with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes. When cool, remove from pan and enjoy!
-For apple cinnamon bread, use Sprite instead of beer and add 4 Tbsp. applesauce, 1 Tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. vanilla
-Substitute a berry flavored wine cooler for the beer for a cool, fruity bread.
-Add 2 Tbsp. garlic powder, 1/2 cup sliced black or kalamata olives, 1 cup shredded cheese