Friday, January 23, 2009

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Finally a recipe that I didn't steal from another blog!

This recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Soup is from the Cooks Country Cookbook. It was quite easy to make and really yummy. Last night we had four of our good friends and their little ones over for a dinner party and I made this soup. The soup had some elements to it that I would never have thought of which made it different to most potato soup recipes I've seen or tasted. I think this is probably my new favorite potato soup recipe and will be one that I plan to make time and time again.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
From Cooks Country

Serves 8

8 slices of bacon, chopped
3 pounds of russet potatoes, scrubbed (I used washed potatoes)
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup of heavy cream
1 sprig of fresh thyme (I used 1/4 tsp of dried thyme instead)
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus additional for garnish
3 scallions, sliced thin for garnishing(I omitted these- but by accident)

1. Cook the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. While the bacon is cooking, use a vegetable peeler to remove wide strips of peel from the potatoes; reserve the peels. Cut the peeled potatoes into 3/4 inch pieces. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with oaoer towels. Add the reserved potato skins to the bacon fat in the pot and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potato skins to the plate with the bacon.

2. Add the onion to the fat remaining in the pot and cook over medium heat until golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and flour and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth and cream, stir in the thyme and potatoes, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes.

3. If you used fresh thyme, discard the thyme sprig and transfer 2 cups of the cooked potatoes to a bowl (if you used the dried thyme, there is no need to remove it). Puree the remaining soup in batched in a blender until smooth (I used my hand-held bar mixer or slender blender and did it right in the pot). Reurn the soup to the pot and warm over medium-high heat. Off the heat, stir in the cheese until melted, then whisk in the sour cream. Return the reserved potatoes to the pot and season the soup with pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls (I served this in bread bowls) and garnish with bacon, fried potato skins, scallions, cheese and sour cream.


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