Tuesday, January 17

The "Original" Loaded Baked Potato Soup!

Our "winter" here in North Texas has been mild at best this year of 2012. Today we had a cold front come through and we are actually going to have a hard freeze tonight! IT'S SOUP WEATHER!! Finally. I love soup weather and wouldn't it be grand if it snowed just a little...oh how divine that would be! Not to be this year I think, but I love a cold night and a steaming cup of hot soup. When we are dining out and I order soup if it's not steaming hot, and I do mean steaming hot, back to the kitchen it goes. If I am going to eat soup I want HOT soup.
  
I have my favorite soup and chowder recipes in a "stash". That is our son's descriptive word he uses for anything tucked away that he places a high value on....and I do value my recipes. I have looked high and low and spent years compiling my favorite fuzzy-slipper-weather soups! 

For quite sometime I have looked for a truly great baked potato soup recipe. Some recipes call for the potatoes to be microwaved, some to boil and others stewed in a crock pot. Pardon me for stating the obvious here but none of these recipes have actual baked potatoes as an ingredient. Isn't that the point? We want the soothing comfort of baked potatoes in a luscious creamy soup. This delicious soup has been cooked, cooked and recooked until it is perfection! It took second place at the fair 6 years ago. If one of my recipes walks away from The Texas State Fair with a Blue or Red ribbon it is lovingly filed as such and used for many years to come. 

Hopefully my children will use them one day as well. Maybe Jared will keep them in his stash, do you think? So from me to you, here is my favorite Baked Potato Soup....and enjoy the cool weather while it lasts. It's going to be in the 70's this weekend! Something is just not right with that.

LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP
SERVES 8
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INGREDIENTS                  
  • 1 pound meaty bacon, diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 bunch green onions, about 8, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cup cream...yes cream
  • 4 large baking potatoes, baked, peeled, and diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, I use Vermont's Extra-Sharp Cabot Cheese
  • Sliced green onion, shredded cheese and bacon for garnish, optional                                                                                                                                                                               
    You may be tempted to wrap a potato in tin foil. DON’T!
    You’ll end up with the potato getting steamed in the foil instead of just baked.
    You may as well just cook it in the microwave.
                                                 

WHAT TO DO

  • In a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain and pour the bacon drippings into a cup. 
  • Put 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings back into the pan along with the butter, chopped onion, and celery. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender. Stir in the sliced green onion and flour until blended. 
  • Stir in chicken broth slowly; stirring quickly to avoid lumps; cover and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened and vegetables are very tender. 
  • Stir in cream, diced baked potatoes, salt, pepper, and cheese. Continue cooking until cheese is melted. Cabot cheddar cheese melts beautifully in soups. 
  • You can blend about half of the soup in a blender until smooth; add it back into your stockpot and cook, stirring constantly until the soup is very hot. I do not blend my entire soup, and most of the time I don't blend it at all. I like the rustic texture of the potatoes. 
  • Serve the soup garnished with bacon, cheese and extra sliced green onion, if desired. ENJOY!! 
If you can love a food this would be it for me!
We tried this on one of our trips to Vermont
and I have had a passion for this cheese ever since.
It is made in the same manner as the original cheddar from
Cheddar, England...which is divine!

THE DOMESTIC CURATOR
RONDA

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