Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

  This is one of my catch-all recipes that uses up kitchen surplus.  I made it up when it was snowing outside and didn't want to pick anything to make dinner.  I saw a big bag of potatoes in the kitchen and inspiration struck.
We always talk about how we should make baked potatoes for dinner sometime - and I'm sure we will.  But this night was damp and snowy, and was a perfect night for soup.  So I combined the two.

Baked Potato Soup

4 Large All Purpose Potatoes
2 small onions, chopped
4 strips bacon, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon flour
1/3 cup half and half

toppings (optional)
cheddar cheese
green onions

Prick the potatoes - then put them in the microwave for 7 minutes.  This may take longer or shorter depending on your machine.  While the microwave is nuking your taters, put your soup pot on a medium flame. When the pot is warm, add the chopped bacon.  Cook the bacon until it is crispy and brown.  Once rendered, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pot and drain on paper towels.

Remove all but 1 teaspoon bacon fat, and add the chopped onions and cook until translucent.  Once the onions are cooked, add a teaspoon of flour and cook to make a light roux.  Add about a cup of the chicken broth and bring to a simmer and stir, making sure the flour mixture is evenly incorporated.

Scoop the cooked potatoes out of their skin - its OK if you get a little skin too.  Add them to the pot and use a potato masher to mash up the potatoes.  I kept it a rough mash because I wanted a little texture....but go to town if you want it smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste - you'll want a decent amount of salt for the potatoes.

 Add the remaining chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

Shut off the heat and add the half and half.  I decided that this was totally optional - we just had half and half leftover from the chicken chili and I thought it was a great way to finish it off...

Top the soup however you would top a baked potato - and feel free to get creative!  We went with bacon, cheddar cheese and broccoli.  I also had a little salsa on mine for some kick.

How do you top a baked potato?

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  1. This soup looks so creamy and so inviting! Plus, you know I can resist anything that involves melted cheese and bacon!

  2. I need to try this out! Potatoes are one of my easy go to foods also, so I'm always looking for new variations.

  3. you know I'm all about a hearty comforting bowl of soup. adding this one to the list!

  4. This is my kind of soup - comforting and versatile with all the topping options - yum!

  5. That looks hearty and delicious!

  6. This looks great, Alicia! I have had making a baked potato soup on my list for a long time. I need to make this! I love topping a baked potato with cheese, bacon, and broccoli too.

  7. Mmm, bacon is definitely a great topping for a baked potato. Love this hearty soup! :)

  8. Oh I love this idea for soup - looks great!

  9. This looks amazing...potatoes are such a wonderful comfort food- this is perfect for a cold and snowy night!

  10. bacon, potatoes and cheese in a soup: what can be better? That's one of my favorites from Au Bon Pan!

    On top of my potatoes I like cheese, sour cream, salsa and scallions. Bacon would not hurt either.