Monday, November 8, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

After our Halloween party, at which we served giant baked potatoes, I had about 100 potatoes left over that I knew I had to start using. This dish was inspired by 2 different Taste of Home recipe cards I had clipped as well as the looming mountain of cooked potatoes sitting in my refrigerator! There are a few changes I will make next time, but I already put those in the recipe instructions below. This was a hearty and delicious soup that really could have stood on its own, but I decided to bake up a few chicken nuggets and served it with a green salad. The only thing that would have made this dish better? The temperature NOT being 90 degrees in November!!! Oh well! Enjoy!

Baked Potato Soup
Source: Me and Taste of Home
Yields: 6 servings

3 large fully cooked baked potatoes, cubed (I just left the skins on, but you can peel them if you have an aversion to potato skins)
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
onion powder to taste (or 1 small onion diced)
thyme to taste (I think I used about 1/2 tsp)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups milk (or 1 cup heavy whipping cream)
1 14.5 oz can low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup crispy cooked bacon, crumbled
4 green onions, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
dollop of sour cream for garnish

Melt butter in a large stock pot. Add potatoes and slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and diced onion if you're using an actual onion; if you're using onion powder don't add it in yet. Cook together about 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add in salt, pepper, thyme, and onion powder (if you didn't use a regular onion). Let simmer together about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings at this point. Don't add in too much salt because you still have to add in the bacon which adds its own salt. At this point you can add in the milk (or cream) and the shredded cheese. Stir constantly in a figure eight motion until all the cheese is melted being careful to not let the milk burn. Once the soup is thoroughly heated through and the cheese is melted, turn off the heat and mix in the bacon and green onions (I added the bacon in too soon and it didn't retain its crispiness, so wait till the last minute!). Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream on top for an added creaminess! This would have been delicious in a bread bowl, but I can't afford the carbs! :)

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