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Milk in the crock pot

So, as the weather gets colder, my crock pot usage tends to go up. I'm a big fan of cold weather soups and the like. The question of the year, then, is about milk in the crock pot. I've also done broth based soups, but have been considering making a cream/milk based potato soup, because I have a giant bag of potatoes that need using. I have to start it before I leave and won't be home for many hours. (About 9, generally.) Some recipes say add it an hour before eating time. Some say add it at the beginning, as long as its on low. What's your experience? This is regular milk, not evaporated or the like.

And any interesting additions to potato soup? I've seen corn. The usual ingredients are carrots/celery/onion, of course. What's your secret ingredient?

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
schexyschteve
Oct. 28th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
I have the most delicious potato soup recipe that uses cream cheese.

We usually add bacon. We had turkey bacon the last time, and it was amazing.
liminal_space
Oct. 28th, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
I've had horrible luck with putting regular milk in soups at the beginning of cook time, but have had great results with evaporated milk. The taste is a little different; I'm not a huge fan of it, but the husband and child like it better. Go figure.

My favorite things with potato soup are leeks and ham. I've also cubed smoked sausage and dumped it in to really fatten it up. ;)
mhaithaca
Oct. 28th, 2011 02:48 am (UTC)
Browned Italian sausage.

As for the milk, it won't scald if your Crock-Pot's low is truly low, but if the soup boils for long, you don't want the milk in there all day. Adding it shortly before serving, just long enough before to get the soup back up to serving temperature, might work out fine. i.e., right when you get home, so it heats as you get set up for dinner. To make it thicker, add sour cream or yogurt for the last few minutes instead of milk.

If you want creaminess without milk, stir in blended cashews that have soaked a couple of hours.
rhodielady_47
Oct. 29th, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
"Browned Italian sausage."

What brand or do you make your own?

Also, please tell us how you handle the cashews? They are a favorite of mine (for eating straight from the bag) and I'd love to start cooking with them.
Thanks!
:)
mhaithaca
Oct. 29th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
I've never made my own sausage, but I'd love to, someday. :-) I try to use good-quality fresh sausage, and have the advantage that even the supermarket sausage around here is from Gianelli, a Syracuse-based meat company that makes awesome stuff.

As for the cashews, I used dry-roasted, salted cashews from a jar I happened to have, and soaked them in a bowl of water for a couple of hours. This will remove some of the saltiness, but not all of it. Unsalted cashews may be better if you're intending to cook with them, or plan on adding less salt to the dish. Once soaked, the cashews blend very easily into soup while you're blending the chunks of vegetables. They add a wonderful thickness and creaminess, and are perfect if you want to make a vegan soup. (Do warn your guests that there are nuts in the soup, as people with nut allergies might not think to ask about soup!)
mysid
Oct. 28th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
My favorite crock pot cream soup recipe uses cream cheese instead of milk, and it can be added at the beginning of your cooking time.
pastilla
Oct. 28th, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
Curious . . . is this your favorite recipe? I actually came across this recipe the other day and wondered what it was like.
mysid
Oct. 28th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
No, but that does look good. Try it and report back to us!
subluxate
Oct. 28th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
Roasted garlic is great in potato soup. Just blend it with the broth to get the flavor distributed, assuming you aren't creaming the soup. I also love potato-leek soup.

I add milk close to the end even in stovetop recipes.
profbutters
Oct. 28th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Leeks.
pastilla
Oct. 28th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
re: potato soup

Chopped kale is great at the last minute! Also chopped bacon, if that's an okay food for you.

re: milk

I always add cream at the end, one spoon at a time. You don't need a lot, just 4 T. is fine.
m32446
Oct. 28th, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
I've never been good with bacon, but the kale is an excellent idea. I'll have to pick some up on the way home. How long do you think is sufficient? Does it just need to wilt a bit, or does it need to actually cook for awhile? I've never done anything with kale, so I've only got other greens to base on.
pastilla
Oct. 28th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
I'd say 5 minutes is enough if you prepare the kale Dutch style: just wash the kale, roll the leaves together and slice into thin strips (chiffonade), and add to the soup.
hitwoman
Oct. 28th, 2011 04:36 am (UTC)
I always add milk at the very end, right after I take it off the heat. But I've never made it in the crockpot.
rasputin_fish
Oct. 28th, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)
I really like mustard in my potato soup. I stir in a big spoonful of Dijon or another tasty variation at the beginning of cooking.
brenda_k_a
Oct. 28th, 2011 06:38 am (UTC)
I use chicken broth for cooking and add a little cream at the end. Wonderful!
valkyri
Oct. 29th, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)

Bacon!
angelzeyez
Oct. 29th, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
i tried potato soup in a crock pot
ugh for me it didn't work out it curdled :( maybe i added the milk and cream too early.
rhodielady_47
Oct. 29th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Parmesan cheese. I usually add it last thing after I've added my thickener to the soup. Delish!
Now I'm going to be thinking about potato soup the rest of the night. I'm thinking I'd love some of that beer bread to go with it that was mentioned a few posts back.
:^9
r4wrdinosaur
Oct. 29th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
I had a potato soup with a ton of yummy dill in it last year.
joyful
Nov. 21st, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
For whatever reason, my mom always insisted on using white pepper instead of black pepper for potato soup, and I think it tastes better.

I've never tried it in the slow cooker though. I was always told to be careful to never boil the milk, so low might be okay.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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