Gluten Free Baked Potato Soup

I’ve seen a lot of folks who attended WTE 2015 mention cooking with tea this week. Be it making their own meat rubs, or what have you and that reminded me of this recipe for gluten free baked potato soup! Bonus…it does include tea.

I got this recipe well over two years ago from a tea friend of mine from Steepster. So here it is for all of you to try out. Feel free to make changes to make it your own:

5 lbs potatoes (russet or red bliss), peeled and diced them in 1 to 2-inch chunks…I usually use more russet and less red bliss. Also if you don’t peel them you end up with grey looking soup…yuck!
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (we LOVE garlic in this house so we use more)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups of steeped Lapsang Souchong tea (adding the leaves is not a good idea – steep first!) or if you aren’t feeling adventurous use 2 cups of water
Crumbled bacon and green onion or chives as garnish

Optional (but I always add them):

1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese

Use a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Peel and dice the potatoes, and add them into the pot. Next add in the onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the seasonings, and pour in the broth and tea (the tea adds a really nice smokey flavor to the soup. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. The potatoes should be fork-tender.

From here you have two options:

You can use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the soup, or a hand-held blender. (WARNING Blending too long may lead to a mashed potato thickness) Here’s where the OPTIONAL bit comes in…this is where I like to add in the cheese to make it a little creamier. But you don’t have to at all, just a personal preference.

You can also leave the potatoes in chunks. I still add the cheese, but when I make it this way I add it with the cheese as a garnish along with the bacon and green onion.

Garnish with crumbled bacon, green onion or chives. This one is a crowd pleaser!