Crock Pot Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

4 cups shredded hash browns, thawed
• 3 cups small-chopped broccoli florets
• 1 cup shredded carrot
• 1 shallot (or 1/2 small sweet onion), minced
• 3 cups sodium reduced chicken broth
• 4 oz (1/2 cup) herbed cream cheese
• 1 cup milk (2% fat or higher)
• 8 oz (1 cup) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
• salt and pepper

Serves 4 to 6
1. To a 6-quart crock pot add hash browns, broccoli, carrots, shallot and chicken broth, then stir to combine, cover, and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or until broccoli is very tender.
2. To a blender add the cream cheese, milk, and roughly 1/3 of the cooked vegetables. Blend until very creamy then stir back into the crock pot, cover, and cook on LOW for 10 minutes.
3. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup of Cheddar cheese into soup, stirring until the cheese is completely melted before adding the second 1/2 cup. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve. Garnish each serving with a little more shredded Cheddar cheese if you wish.