Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Loaded Potato Soup

This past Sunday, the girl and I had the house to ourselves. We did chores, mopped, laundry. We also, stopped at Einstein's Bagel's for lunch breakfast bagels and coffee.

Can you still call it a breakfast bagel if you are eating it at lunch?

Then we had some light errands to do, library, the mall to walk around and shop.

The mall had the Largest Rocking Horse in the World out. It's out every year. It rocks!

But when you're deep in Christmas shopping weather, this outdoors mall is seriously chilly. We took the opportunity to enjoy the horse early.

I was in a serious mood to stop at Panera's for their loaded potato soup in sourdough bread bowls. I love their soup in bread bowls.


But, since we had the day, I decided to make our potato soup. We still stopped by Panera's to get the bread bowls. Sourdough takes forever. I don't have a starter on hand.

Hello, Beautiful Carb-y Lover.

We went on a walk in the slightly chilly, misty, late fall weather. I like adjectives.

When we got home, we got in our PJ's so we could be snug eating our soup and watching a movie.

I didn't have a recipe, so bear with me.

I diced up 2 small onions. If you're an onion lover, add more!

Cook the onions till they're translucent with 6 Tbl butter or margerine, or 3/4 of a stick. This picture only shows 1/2 stick. I needed more after it started cooking.

Once they're softened, add 1/4 cup flour. Stir quickly and only cook for a minute or so. You're just cooking off that floury taste.

Have your chicken stock ready. I used a can of 98% fat free chicken stock, but you could use vegetable stock. Make sure to add it before the flour has a chance to burn.

Let this come to a boil, it will thicken and resemble a gravy.


 Then add 4 cups milk, I used 1%.

Now, while this was cooking, I had stuck 5 small to medium potatoes in the microwave. I had pierced them so they didn't explode.

Don't be like me.

This didn't work out well. I am not entirely sure what I was thinking. If I had microwaved these earlier and had let them cool, it would have been fine, but I was attempting to peel hot potatoes.

It was not fun.

But like I said, I had no recipe. So, we're going to ignore that step. You could cook your potatoes right in the soup, or you could peel and chop them, then microwave them in a bowl.

If you do pre-cook them, like I did, remember to leave them slightly undercooked. They can finish cooking in the soup and break down in the soup to add thickness and flavor.

Let this come to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
I let it simmer for 15- 20 min. Then, I added about 1/4 cup of sour cream. I could have used 1/2 cup. If you like sour cream, and a richer soup, add 1/2 cup.

If you like you're soup chunkier, cook less, if you like less chunks, cook more and the potatoes will break down and thicken the soup.

You could even run this through a blender if you like it totally pureed.

I also added about 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese. Mild is fine, but I like rich flavors.

I use low fat foods in cooking, so I tend to add richer ingredients. Not all ingredients are high in fat.

You can still have more flavor and less fat.

I also added about 1/4 cup real bacon bits. I like to buy them bulk. They are actually quite lean, although you are adding some sodium.

This is pretty much done, but by the time I had the bread bowls ready to be filled it had thickened up even a little more and was perfect.
Oh bread bowls. You are my friend.

I sprinkled a little cheddar cheese and bacon bits over mine on the left.

The girl, she wanted it plain, but added oyster crackers.

You could have additional toppings on the table, such as steamed broccoli florets and sour cream. Kids love anything they can add toppings too. Well, mine do anyway.

Ahhh! Soup in bread bowl on TV tray. Rio dvd in, lights down.
Don't be appalled, please. I actually ate ALL my bread. I tear around the edge and dip into the soup. Once it got down to here, I added MORE soup and ripped it up and ate it ALL.
I was very full.

The girl, she refilled her bowl and ate another helping of soup, but didn't have the insane need to eat all of her sourdough bread.


Recipe Recap:
Loaded Potato Soup
5 medium diced and mostly cooked potatoes
2 small diced onions
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
1 can (14oz) chicken stock
3/4 stick butter or margerine
1/2 cup sour cream (as desired)
1/2 cheddar cheese (as desired)
1/4 cup real bacon bits (as desired)

Cook onions and butter until translucent and soft, stir in flour until bubbly, add chicken stock. Cook till thickened, add milk, stir to combine.
Simmer on low 15 - 20 min, add sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. Stir until combined and let simmer 5 more minutes.
Serve in bread bowls!

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