Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

Okay, so somewhere between time and space last week, I realized that I hadn't even thought to post recipes on this dang blog. A real lightbulb moment, eh? Cooking is something I love to do, and yet somehow that part of my life has not really been displayed here. A little insider information: most of my recipes are discovered from or through other blogs I read. Rarely do I follow a recipe exactly.

Below is a wonderful potato soup recipe I found, that truly had a fantastic mouth-feel...perfectly creamy, not too thick and certainly not too watery. The latter have been found in other potato soup recipes I've tried, but have not liked. My tips will be in blue. And might I add that I cannot wait to make this again come Autumn! :)

Baked Potato Soup (4 servings)

3 bacon strips, diced (Did an extra strip for the dog's treat ;)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth (I used 4 c. and it came out fine)
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed (Plan ahead and save time...I purposefully had a dinner of chili and baked potatoes the night before. All I had to do was throw 2 additional ones in the oven, done!)
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I omitted the hot sauce, but relished the non-chili spiciness of the black pepper instead)
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Minced fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. (I cheat time by using the microwave instead). Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. (Since getting drippings from a microwaved plate of bacon is messy, I put two pieces of uncooked bacon fat in the pot where the onion and garlic were sauted in. Also, no need to use multiple pans/pots. Keep it simple and utilize one big soup pot to saute the onion and garlic mixture. Then add the rest of the ingredients for your soup. One less thing to clean!) Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.

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