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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Friday, February 8, 2013

Baked Potato Soup

Here's a nice winter treat. It's not exactly on the healthy menu we've been following lately, but it is a very nice, hearty soup that's great for lunch or dinner on a cold day.  It's inspired by the Pioneer Woman's potato soup.  

Here's what you need:

6 slices bacon
6 russet potatoes
1 onion
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
8 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar
3 green onions
sour cream (optional)

First peel and dice the onion and carrot and dice the celery.

Dice the potatoes.  You can peel them if you want but I say why bother?

Take the bacon...

and dice it up and put in a large pot.

Cook until crisp and remove with a slotted spoon.

Remove all but a tablespoon of bacon grease from the pot and toss in the carrots, celery and onions.  Cook for about 3 minutes.

Then add the potatoes.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.

Now here's where I made a big mistake.  I planned to sprinkle with paprika but the lid on the paprika jar was not secure and I ended up dumping about 1/4 cup of paprika over the potatoes.  I managed to scoop most of it out, but the soup is much oranger than it should be.  It still tasted great though.

Toss this all together and cook for about 5 minutes.

Then add the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.  

Whisk together the flour and milk.

And add it to the soup.  Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Then lightly blend the soup with an immersion blender.  Don't blend completely, just a little to thicken it up, leaving some chunks of potato.  If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend half in a regular blender then return it to the pot.

Taste and then season with salt and pepper as needed.

Prepare your toppings while the soup simmers.  Chopped green onions, grated cheddar and the diced bacon we cooked up before.  You can also add sour cream if you want but I didn't.  

Serve up the soup in a bowl.  You could eat it just like this if you wanted, but why would you do that when you can do this:

Top it like a loaded baked potato.  Yum!  

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