- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 2 leeks (whites only), thoroughly washed and sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup half and half*
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
- Place cauliflower, leeks, onion, celery and garlic into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf and 2 cups water; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf’; puree with an immersion blender.
- Stir in cheese and half and half.
- Serve immediately, garnished with additional cheese, bacon and chives, if desired.
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