Slow Cooker Cheddar, Bacon, & Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Cheddar, Bacon, & Bean Soup http://hurstbeans.com/system/images/172/original_Cheddar_Bacon_and_Bean_Soup__test.jpg
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"You must try this delicious, creamy, flavorful soup! It is perfect for a cold fall or winter day. It takes a long time to cook, so it's perfect to get started early in the morning and leave cooking all day long. When you return home from your busy day you'll have dinner pretty much ready to go!" Original recipe from 365 Days of Slow Cooking blog: http://tinyurl.com/ka9hsk4

Cook Time
Kitchen Time
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 (15.5 oz) package of Hurst's HamBeens® Slow Cooker Bacon and Beans
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream (or half and half ), warmed
  • 3 cups grated cheddar, divided
  • 6 thick slices of smoked and seasoned bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled, divided

Cooking Directions

  1. Open package of beans and remove the seasoning packet. Save for later use. Pour beans into a large bowl and cover completely with water. Let soak overnight.
  2. Drain all water off of the beans and then pour beans into a large slow cooker. Add in 7 cups of water, bay leaf, onions, garlic and half of the bacon. Cover and cook on LOW for 12-15 hours or on HIGH for 7-8 hours, or until beans are tender.
  3. Remove the lid and stir the seasoning packet into the slow cooker. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
  4. In a pan on the stove top, prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat, add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup of hot soup (liquid only). Add another 2-3 cups of soup (liquid only) and stir until smooth. Add all back into slow cooker.
  5. Pour in warmed heavy cream and then stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheddar, a little at a time.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour into serving bowls and top individual servings with cheddar and crumbled bacon.