Monday, November 8, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

We woke up to the first dusting of snow here in Rhode Island and it is only November 8th!  I wish I had watched the weather and put this on the menu for tonight!  It is the perfect comfort food to serve as a hearty dinner alongside a big salad.

I make tons of soup during the winter.  I feel like I never stick to one recipe as I throw ingredients into the pot, so feel free to adjust this recipe as you see fit.  I like to cook the bacon and toss it right into the soup.  This tends to soften it up a bit so some people prefer to reserve the bacon and sprinkle it on top of each individual serving.  Also, I like a little bit of celery in my potato soup but many potato soup recipes do not include it.  

Even if you don't consider yourself to be a great cook, try making a variety of soup recipes!  They are very difficult to mess up!

Prep Ahead Plan:  Soup is the ultimate prep ahead dinner!  It only tastes better as it sits in the fridge for a couple of days.  I like to make a big pot when I have a couple of hours to spare on the weekend.  During the week I can usually get at least one dinner and two or three lunches out of it!

  • 3 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 T  flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 t thyme and 1/2 t of basil*
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese (for sprinkling on individual servings)
  • Minced fresh parsley
*optional seasonings

1.  In a large soup pot, brown bacon.  Remove  bacon and set aside. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat for sauteing the veggies.

2.  Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil and stir for a few minutes, add the potatoes and allow to cook through (about 10 minutes or less depending on how small you cubed them).  
3. Add cream and heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.

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