Slow Cooker Smoked Sausage Potato Cheese Soup Recipe

*plus an unrelated note from Heather at the end*
Bobbie says:

“So, is it cold enough for ya?” I don’t think I’ve made it through a winter in my entire life without hearing this lamest of questions at least once. I just smile and nod at the crazy person as I move along.  “Cold enough” implies that one looks forward to frigid temperatures. Anyone who’s spent more than five minutes with me during the winter knows I detest cold and snow, and probably thinks I’m less than sane for living north of the Mason-Dixon line my entire life, despite the weather. I couldn’t really argue with that.

We’ve actually had a rather mild winter in the Gettysburg area so far, but it’s still been cold enough to warrant some hearty, comforting soup to warm the bones as well as the soul. This simple Smoked Sausage Potato Cheese Soup is perfect  for busy, chilly days. Peel a few potatoes, chop a carrot and toss everything in the slow cooker in the morning and let it cook all day, then finish the last step just before supper time. Pair with a tossed salad and maybe some crusty rolls for an easy-peasy winter meal. Simple, yet satisfying.

Cheesy Smoked Sausage Potato Soup - Easy Comfort Food

My potato preference for this is Yukon Gold, but any kind will do. Any fully cooked sausage can be used, and you can also use a different cheese. I think bratwurst with swiss cheese sounds really good, but I haven’t tried it yet.  Reheats nicely, if you’ve got any left over – keep in the fridge and use within a couple days. Freezing not recommended – texture will be affected.

 

Smoked Sausage Potato Cheese Soup Recipe

makes about 4 quarts

1 pound fully cooked smoked sausage
8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch chunks
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 1/2 cups peeled carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of dried thyme
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
4 cups chicken or pork stock, preferably homemade

1 cup evaporated milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Halve the sausage lengthwise, then slice about 1/4 inch thick.

Combine everything except the evaporated milk and cheese in a 6-quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, or on LOW for 8 to 9 hours.

Remove the bay leaves. Cheesy Smoked Sausage Potato Soup - gently stir in cheese

Stir in evaporated milk.

Sprinkle cheese over top of the soup. Stir gently until the cheese melts into the soup and mixes well throughout.

Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.

 

 

 

 

 

Bobbie Laughman is a part-time elder caregiver, part-time administrative assistant and part-time dreamer of warm toes. She cooks and writes and bundles up well in the Gettysburg, PA area. Follow Bobbie on Pinterest,  subscribe to her blog or send a message to Bobbie@Home-Ec101.com.  

Heather says:
I’m very grateful that Bobbie sent this over last night. I didn’t want to not post this week, but the kids and I were rear-ended yesterday afternoon. We were all checked out at the ER and other than being extremely sore and cranky, we’re all okay. I want to thank the extremely nice staff at N&D Wireless, a local business, for letting the kids and me wait in their store while everything was sorted out. The ambulances (not for me or the kids and as far as I know, the other people are okay, too) and police took up most of their parking lot for a good hour. They helped entertain my shaken up kids and were just generally kind. They didn’t have to let my wound up kids go nuts in there for as long as they did, but that kindness meant a lot, I was pretty rattled. I’m going to be a complete slacker this weekend and hopefully attack Monday with all of my usual spite and enthusiasm. Have a good weekend and hug -yes, hug- those you love.

Can I Use Bechamel in a Slow Cooker, Crock Pot, or Oven

Dear Home-Ec 101,
I was wondering if I would be able to use Bechamel sauce in the Crock Pot, for an extended period of time, without it seperating or breaking down? I am wanting to do a pork loin with a creamy mustard sauce, and instead of using condensed soup and what not, I was going to do a bechamel sauce, add some sour cream and some dijon, as well as maybe some horseradish, and there you have it! I was just curious, as I couldn’t find anything on the world wide interweb, and have no one around to ask.
Signed,
Breaking in Bristol
Heather says:

The short answer is: absolutely.

The longer answer? Well, here you go:

Bechamel is one of the five mother sauces and is a cornerstone of classical chef training. The mother sauces are:

Veloute – a light stock (made with bones that haven’t been roasted) thickened with roux
Bechamel – milk thickened with roux
Tomato – umm, do I have to explain this one?
Espagnole – a brown sauce, made with roux, veal stock, roasted veal bones and mire poix
Hollandaise -gently heated egg yolk and clarified butter and this is also my personal favorite

Foodies will argue all day long about whether or not aioli/mayo is now one of the six mother sauces, even if it’s not exactly a sauce. Here at Home-Ec 101 we’re going to keep it as simple as possible. I’m not including it for now, but I will certainly, at some point in the future teach how to make each of these sauces, including the hotly debated aioli/mayo.

On to your actual question:

A roux is a mixture of fat and flour cooked over heat long enough to get over that pasty raw flour taste. There are several kinds of roux, but bechamel calls for blonde, which simply means it has been cooked just long enough to get rid of the raw taste, but not so long as to develop the nutty, toasted flavors that show up in peanut butter, chocolate, and brick varieties.

In bechamel, the roux is thinned with milk and flavored with a little nutmeg (that I never add, I’m not a nutmeg fan, remember that if I invite you over for dinner). Roux is a miracle, but it is not magic. If the bechamel is heated to boiling, the sauce will break and separate into its components. Remember oil and water do not mix, after all. The wheat flour keeps the whole sauce in a suspension (fancy chemistry term). If it’s heated too much this suspension cannot be sustained and that’s when you end up with funny textures and oil sitting on top of a dish.

That said, you can certainly bake and slow cook with bechamel, where you would have used a can of cream of something previously, but you cannot let it get too hot. This is probably going to involve a little trial and error. Additionally, remember when using a slow cooker, you use about 50% less liquid than in a recipe that suggests cooking in an open pan in the oven or on the stove.

By the way, your idea for a pork loin with bechamel based sauce sounds wonderful, but for the most dependable results, I’d probably season and cook the pork loin in the slow cooker and then, instead of going the traditional bechamel route, why not cut loose and use the same technique with the drippings from the pork loin?

You’ll need a fat separator or a careful hand to spoon the fat off of the liquid. Use the normal ratio of fat to flour to liquid. ( Typically 2 TBSP fat, 2 TBSP flour, 1 cup liquid) and simply add butter and milk to fill in any gaps. So if you have 1 TBSP of fat from the drippings, use 1 TBSP of butter, only have 3/4 cup of liquid from the loin? No problem, just add enough milk to make it 1 cup. Now, make your roux, add the liquid, then go ahead and add your sour cream and mustard if you’d like. Pour this over your cooked loin and enjoy! By using this method you’re taking advantage of the complementary flavors already in the dish instead of the more bland, but still delicious milk and butter.

Definitely related posts:

Good luck!

Submit your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

Beef Stroganoff, Gluten Free and for the Slow Cooker

Heather says:

Beef stroganoff is not an attractive comfort food, which is why it has taken me nearly five years to get around to posting this slow cooker recipe. It’s not the beef stroganoff’s fault it’s unattractive and the recipe itself is quite simple; it’s just a homely dish. People on the interwebz can be cruel and I just knew, no matter how hard I tried, this recipe would end up on the culinary equivalent of Awkward Family Photos. Today I swallow my pride and share the recipe, because the world can always use a little more comfort food. If you can have wheat, it’s just a straight substitution of all purpose flour for the rice flour.

I served this recipe over oven roasted potatoes seasoned with thyme.

: Beef Stroganoff, Gluten Free

: This is a gluten free recipe for beef stroganoff, adapted for the slow cooker or Crockpot

  • 2.5 – 3lbs beef round steak or cube steak
  • 3/4 cup rice flour*, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • fresh ground pepper (I just use a few turns)
  • 2 onions sliced into rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/4 cups beef stock / broth / bouillon or 1 can beef broth
  • 1/4 cup wine (I use whatever I have on hand, nothing has been disappointing)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream

 Instructions

  • Trim off any excess fat from the round steak. If you’re using cube steak, this should not be an issue. Cut the beef into strips, 1/2 inch wide and no more than 2 – 3 inches long, set aside.
  • In a bowl mix together: 1/2 cup of rice flour, salt, dry mustard, and fresh ground pepper.
  • Toss the beef strips with the flour mixture until thoroughly coated and place in the slow cooker.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except the sour cream and reserved 1/4 cup of rice flour. Stir.
  • Cook on low 6 – 8 hours or high for 4.
  • Turn off the slow cooker and mix together the sour cream and rice flour. Stir into the beef stroganoff and give it a few minutes to thicken.
  • Serve over potatoes or rice for gluten free folks and hot or hot buttered noodles for the wheat tolerant.

Rice flour is very inexpensive and can be found in many stores in the Asian / Ethnic food section or in any Asian grocery store, it can also be found in many health food stores.

*If you can have wheat, just use all-purpose flour in place of the rice flour.

Diet tags: Gluten free

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)