Ok, since it's fall, and it's a whoppin' 52 degrees outside this morning, I think I'll post my Cheesy Tater Soup recipe. I don't remember exactly where I found it, but any recipe that involves a crock pot is A+ in my book. I sort of posted this as a comment on FB the other day, but I'll try to have it make more sense this time. :)
Cheesy Tater Soup
-a crock pot
-taters (one big tater per person or equivalent)
-a bag of sharp cheddar cheese
-a small can of EVAPORATED milk (NOT condensed.. that'll be gross)
-seasonings: onion powder, garlic powder, chives, dill, pepper, Lawrys, or any other seasoning you want to put in there.. OR, the real thing in place of dry stuff.
-corn starch (not much, like 2 tablespoons)
Ok, ya ready? Here it goes. Peel and chop up the taters into smallish pieces (1/2 inch cubes). Put them in the crock pot and fill with enough water to cover the taters. Put in all the seasoning and mix it up. I didn't put measurements for seasonings because not everyone likes as much garlic as I do. :) SO, you can just wing it with the seasonings to start and add more later if it needs it. Turn your crock pot on HIGH and let cook for a good 4 hours.. although you could start this up before you leave for work and set it on LOW so it'll be ready to go when you get home.
About an hour before you want to serve the tater soup, mix in the small can of evaporated milk. If you want your soup to be thicker, use a glass or metal measuring cup (it's HOT) and take out about 1/2 cup of the liquid. Add the 2 tablespoons of corn starch and mix it up really well. If you try to be sneaky and add the corn starch right to the crock pot, you'll end up with lovely little corn starch marbles that won't blend in. ;)
1/2 hour before serving. Throw in the CHEESE! YES CHEESE! For a big batch (6+ taters) I use the whole bag. Stir up the cheese until it melts into cheesy tater soup happiness. It's really good if you serve it with cornbread or really wheaty bread. :)
(P.S. I'm a non-meat eater, so I don't put any meat in my tater soup... BUT, if you are a meat eater and want to jazz the soup up some more, you can add stuff like cooked cubed chicken, cubed summer sausage or ham. The time to add that is when you put in the evaporated milk. If you put it in at the beginning and let it sit there all day, you'll have some nice expanded pieces of ??? that once resembled meat and have virtually no flavor.) ;)