1Saute garlic,onion, carrots, mushrooms and celery with 1/2 of the butter until soft. Add potatoes and the rest of the butter along with garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste. I use parsley garlic salt. Continue saute until potatoes are coated well with butter and start to brown.
2Transfer this to warm crock pot and add broth and water and stir well. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high.
3Stir well and add milk - I use 1/4 cup half and half and 1 3/4 skim milk. Add cheese and stir well and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes. I add 3 tablespoons of corn starch with 1/4 cup water mixed well along with 1 3/4 cups of instant potatoes to thicken my soup at this point.
Serve with cheeses, croutons and sour cream if desired.
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