Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year! Let's Make Soup... Again.

I'm sure everyone is thinking that my favorite thing to make is soup. Well I'll tell you what, I have had soup on my mind a lot lately thanks to the rather cold for Houston temps that we are having. I guess I'll just call it a series and keep on trucking.

Please excuse the lack of photography this time. I was just trying to get lunch on the table and I was stirring like a mad fool for a while and I just couldn't stop.

Enough commentary, now on with the show!

This soup just sounded so good and it fit the bill for comfort food after ringing in the new year.

Baked Potato Soup

2 tbsp. butter
1/4 of a large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 baking potatoes (about 2-1/2 lbs.)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups milk (you can use any percent of milk fat you prefer. I used 2% for 5 cups and 1 cup of fat free half and half because I had it hanging around the fridge.)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream (you can use reduced fat if you choose)
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash. (Or if you are pinched for time, you can use the microwave and blast them for 5 minute intervals until cooked through. That is what I did.)

Fry at least 6 pieces of bacon (more if you like bacon, and who doesn't) until done. Place on paper towel to drain. Crumble when cool. Set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour into the vegetables; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes).

Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup green onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil).

Ladle 1-1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 tsp. cheese, 1-1/2 teaspoons green onions, and about 1 tbsp. bacon. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.

Serves 8.

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