Monday, November 24, 2014

Baked Potato Soup

I posted this...

A photo posted by AprilD (@ardriggs) on

...on my Instagram feed and was asked for the recipe so I thought I would share it with everyone.  Soup is good food.  Did I mention it has bacon?  You're welcome.


1 onion, diced
1.5# bacon
1/2 cup flour
1.5 tsp dried parsley
2 cartons chicken broth
1 quart half and half
1 stick butter
salt and pepper
1.5 cups shredded cheese
1 small box of instant mashed potatoes (don't hate, you'll understand why)
3-4# potatoes

For garnish:

green onions, chopped
shredded cheese, your favorite
plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
bacon bits


I'm going to have to go all Pampered Chef snob on ya here because I will attest that there is absolutely NOTHING in the world that can cook bacon quite like this baby can!
 photo stonewear.gif

This, my friends, is the Pampered Chef stoneware large bar pan.  I use this to cook bacon...every...single...time.  Why?  I like my bacon flat.  I like my bacon even.  I hate the splattery mess it makes all over the cooktop.  I hate getting hot bacon grease pops on my skin and clothing.  I simply lay the bacon out, pop it into a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes and voila.  Remove onto a drainage tray or some paper towels.  BAM!  You can't beat it.  And frankly...

But I digress.  Directions for baked potato soup...

Wash your potatoes and bake them. "Bake" is a subjective term here that can mean one of three things:  

  1. You're going to roll your potatoes in foil and stick them in your crock pot to "bake" until they're done which, in turn, means that you're out of luck for making your soup right now.  Nexxxxxt?
  2. You're going to roll your potatoes in foil and bake them in the oven.  This means that you not only need to have dual ovens (because you're a genius and you are baking your bacon in the oven right now) but you also need to allow more time which means that you won't be making your soup anytime soon.  Sooooo neeeeexxxxxxxt? 
  3. You're going to give your potatoes a good rinse and throw them in the microwave to "bake."  Truth be told, that's the only way I "bake" potatoes anymore.  I'm busy.  It works.  Deal with it.  I haven't jumped on the bandwagon that microwaves are guilty of leeching all of the minerals out of our food and turning them into micro carcinogenic anti-nutrient GMO franken-potatoes.  

Cook your bacon.  Set aside to cool and drain.  You'll need to use a good ole butcher knife and chop those bad boys up into whatever size bits you like.  I prefer a little more substance so I have hearty sized bits, but you may want to just chop the shit out of them until they're like... pulverized.  Go for it!  Whatever floats your boat.  Knock ya self out!  

Next, use the drippings to cook your onions until they're soft.  While those are sweatin' it out, pour the cartons of chicken broth and the half and half into a large pot over medium heat.

Your taters should be done baking in the nuclear reactor so just pop them out, slice them in half and let them cool a little bit.  Your finger tips will thank you.

In the mean time, don't forget you have onions in bacon grease cooking on the range.

Once those are done you'll sprinkle in your flour and butter.  Stir that around until you have a bit of a roux.  Once this is cooked through, into the pot it goes.  Stir well and often.

Next, peel and dice up your baked potatoes and carefully add them to your soup. Typically I ladle them into the soup so I don't get burned by the hot plops.  (That doesn't sound appetizing does it?  A "hot plop"?  Well, if you've ever been burned by something plopping into something hot, you get it.  You just do.)

At this point is when I add the parsley, a few turns of freshly grated sea salt and pepper and a big old heaping handful of shredded cheese.  Above it says 1.5 cups... I eyeball it... measuring isn't usually my thing unless I'm baking.

Now, THIS is where personal preference will come into play.  I prefer MY baked potato soup to have a thicker base.  I've been elsewhere and had it served and it was a little "soup-ish" and runny.  Neither tasted bad, we all just prefer what we prefer.  So, I learned this little trick from my grandma -- to thicken the soup, sprinkle in instant mashed potato flakes.  This way, it's thickened to YOUR liking with something that isn't going to alter the flavor because -- duh -- they're potatoes!  Why do I use instant mashed potatoes rather than more flour?  Well, sometimes too much flour can really render a dish flavorless... plus, this just works.  It just does!  Trust me.

I let it all simmer for about 10-12 minutes while I prep the serving area.  I set out bowls of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream (whatever we have on hand), grated cheese, bacon bits and fresh chives.

It's a hearty, fill-your-belly kinda soup.  I hope you enjoy!
 photo potatosoup.gif

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