Saturday, March 07, 2009

Baked Potato Soup: Take Two

subtitled: How to Creatively Use Left-overs

Last night, our small group enjoyed a baked potato dinner, complete with a variety of toppings, all provided by one of the families. After the evening ended, I asked {somewhat sheepishly} if I could take home the leftovers. {A couple of tears ensued. I think I was just embarrassed at my own gratefulness, if that makes any sense.} Anyhow, besides about 8 humongous baked potatoes, I also took home an unopened container of sour cream and about 3 cups worth of shredded cheddar cheese. I knew the instant I saw all the ingredients together what they would become: Baked Potato Soup. Not coincidentally, I'm sure, I attempted this recipe for the first time earlier in the week, and altho
ugh thick & rich & yummy, felt it needed a little tweaking. Here's my own updated, detailed-instruction version:

Makes about 6 servings

3 T. butter or margarine
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 T. flour
2 c. chicken broth
2 c. milk
2 large or 3 medium baked potatoes, peeled & diced into bite-sized pieces
3 green onions, chopped

6 slices bacon, cooked til crispy & chopped up

1/2 c. sour cream

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

s & p, TT

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic when the butter is about half-way melted so it can cook a bit & flavor the butter. When the butter is melted, add the flour. Stir well with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated. Let cook for about 1 minute. Slowly add the broth. {I like to literally just dribble it in a couple tablespoons at a time.} You want to stir well with each addition to prevent lumps. You should be able to nearly add the entire 2 cups, with the mixture still being thick at the end. Don't worry about that. Slowly add the milk, stirrring constantly. Add the potatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Milk based soups have a tendency to scorch on the bottom, so you want to stir pretty often. My potatoes were pretty sturdy since a) they were russets and b) they had been refrigerated overnight. If your seem like they'd fall apart too easily, you can just add them after bringing to a simmer. Add the green onions, bacon, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Stir well to combine. Season "to taste" (TT) with salt & pepper. Season gently, especially if you're using broth from bouillion cubes and since the bacon will be salty.

Notes: I used whole milk because that's what I had, but I'm sure 2% or skim would work just fine as well. I also used light sour cream and turkey bacon. Still lots of wonderful flavor with those substitutions!

I will probably double the recipe next time, as since the day was cold, rainy, and dreary....well, let's just say those 6 servings were eaten by far less people.

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