BAKED POTATO SOUP

Fall means that it’s time for soup!  And this recipe is a family favorite.

The key to this dish is actually baking the the potatoes until they are velvety and soft, before making the soup.  The flavor and texture of baked potatoes combine with the other ingredients to create a magical pot of comforting delight.

I got this recipe from a dear friend, who got it from a dear friend, and I’m glad to share it with you.  Because the best recipes are the ones that get passed from person to person because it is just that good.

I’ve adapted the original recipe a bit to fit my taste preferences and cooking style.  I encourage to do the same with any recipe that you try.  Cooking is a lot more fun when you give yourself the freedom to make recipes your own.

Gather some friends around your table this weekend and serve them a bowl of this soup.  I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the harvest season.

BAKED POTATO SOUP (serves 8 – 10)

ingredients:

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 12 ounces of bacon, cooked and crumbled, reserve drippings
  • 1 stick of butter (8 Tablespoons)
  • 1 cup sliced green onions, divided
  • 2/3 cup of flour
  • 8 cups of 2% milk
  • 16 ounces of light sour cream
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450.
  • Scrub and wash potatoes.  Wrap them tightly in foil.  Prick each potato several times with a fork.  Place in oven to bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until very soft. (I put my potatoes in the back of my oven as soon as the are prepped, even if the oven isn’t fully heated.)  Remove potatoes from the oven.  As soon as you can handle them without getting burned, remove the foil so they can cool enough to be coarsely chopped.
  • Place potatoes on a cutting board.  Slice in half with a large knife, and then slice each half lengthwise into fourths.  You’ll have long wedges.  Cut the wedges into coarse, large chunks.  (Most of the peel will come off easily as you slice the potatoes this way.  I pull of large detached chunks of peel off, and leave the small pieces of peel that remain attached on the potato pieces.  I like a little bit of the roasted skin in the soup, but not a lot. This is the fastest easiest way that I have found to do this.  If you don’t want any skin, then you can scoop the cooked potato out of the skin instead of cutting it.)
  • Meanwhile cook bacon in a large stock pot on medium heat.  (I like to cut the raw bacon into large, bite sized pieces before putting it into the pot.  I find it easier to occasionally stir the pieces while it cooks and browns, rather than flipping whole pieces.  And this method allows me to cook all of the bacon at the same time.)  Once brown, use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate.  Pour out drippings into a heat proof container to reserve.  You do NOT need to wipe out the pot.
  • Add butter to pot, still over medium heat.  Stir until melted.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of the bacon drippings, with browned bits.
  • Add 3/4 cup of sliced green onions.  Stir and cook until soft.  About 2 minutes.
  • Add flour. Cook and stir for one minute.
  • Pour milk into pot in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a whisk until combined, and the lumps are gone.  Continue stirring frequently until it begins to bubble.
  • Stir frequently until soup thickens to your desired consistency.
  • Add the chopped, cooked potatoes.  Stir to combine.  Turn heat to low.  Cover with a lid.  Let soup simmer for 10 minutes.  Lifting the lid to stir occasionally so that the bottom doesn’t burn.  (Which happens easily with any milk-based soup!)
  • Remove lid and stir in cooked bacon and 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese.  Stir until combined.
  • Turn off heat.  Add container of sour cream.  Stir until heated through.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve soup with reserved grated cheddar cheese and sliced green onions.

ENJOY!

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