"Soon" ended up being this past weekend and with real Fall weather getting closer every day (THANK GOD), soup sounded fantastic. I don't know where the recipe came from originally so I hate to post it without being able to give credit where its due but I also hate to not share something so easy and delicious (and really open for all kinds variations). My version is a lower sodium version. Husband is on blood pressure medicine so for years now I've been trying to find any way I can to cut down our sodium intake (because it's not good for any of us, but especially him) without cutting out flavor. It's not sodium-free and I don't know if I can even call it "low sodium" but it's definitely "lower"...so I tried, eh?
|Crappy picture taken with my phone during my lunch break...|
but I hate posting a recipe with a picture of the finished product!
- 1 30 oz. of frozen diced hash browns (do not thaw)
- 1 32 oz. box of chicken broth
- 1 can (10 oz) Cream of Chicken soup
- 1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese
- 3 oz. bacon bits
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste
- Pour your chicken broth and can of Cream of Chicken soup into your crockpot, stir to combine. Add your frozen hash browns, half your bacon bits and the seasoning you want to use (salt, pepper, onion powder), stir. Cook on low about 6-8 hours.
- About an hour before serving, cut the cream cheese into small cubes and add them to your crockpot. Mix a few times through the hour. The soup is done when the cream cheese is completely mixed in.
- To serve, top with some shredded cheddar cheese and reserved bacon bits.
The recipe above is basically how it was emailed to me.
- Chicken broth is a staple in my kitchen. I find myself grabbing for it on recipes that don't even call for it. A co-worker turned me on to Pacific Low Sodium Chicken Broth. Its probably the only thing I buy that's "organic". You're not likely to find me jumping on the organic bandwagon trend, I don't buy the hype, but this is the lowest sodium I've ever found in chicken broth so this I buy (a whole box of this broth still has less sodium equivalent than a serving of most other brands - also, I'm not advertising for them, I just like the product).
- I use the "Healthy Request" Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup in place of regular any time I can get away with it. It cuts the sodium content in half (along with fat and calories) and no one in my house has complained that the taste is different.
- I'm not a fan of bacon bits at all. If I make a recipe that calls for bacon, I cook it. But I'm also not a fan of bacon in soup (chewy bacon makes me gaggy). I was actually going to omit the bacon entirely from this but I saw turkey bacon bits in the grocery store and since Husband is a lover of all things bacon, I figured that was a decent compromise. It also cut sodium there too because the turkey bacon is lower (it had to have cut fat as well because the regular bacon bits looked like nothing but nasty bits of fat).
So those are my "sodium cutting" tricks for this semi-homemade soup recipe. Using that broth and the "healthy request" canned soup, it was a little bland but that's ok because I can add my own salt (or try to pump up flavor with other seasonings). I think soon I'm going to try one of those homemade canned soup substitutes since I'm not really a canned soup lover.
- This only took about 6 hours in my crockpot.
- I used a 34 oz bag of hash browns so I upped my broth by a cup or two throughout the cooking process.
- Next time I plan to double the recipe (except the bacon) but will replace one bag of potatoes with a bag of frozen corn. I love potato and corn chowder!
- During last nights trip to the grocery store I checked out different brands of hash browns and noticed that the Ore-Ida brand had a much lower calorie/fat/sodium content than the store brand ones I used.