January 13, 2013

Baked Potato Soup

My mom and her man-friend came to stay with us last week and brought us 20 (or more, actually) pounds of potatoes. They were closing up their house in snowy Colorado for the winter, and decided to clean out their pantry and bring us all the usable dry goods. Apparently, they really like potatoes. We don't eat potatoes that often, so I've had to get creative with ways to eat them. I found this soup (and another recipe we recently tried) on The Pioneer Woman website. She noted that she is very picky about potato soup, so I was fairly certain I could trust that her recipe would be awesome. PW has never steered me wrong in the food department, so I put some of my potato surplus to good use. We ate our soup with a green salad and, as expected, it was satisfying and delicious.

Baked Potato Soup
Adapted From: The Pioneer Woman Cooks! website

6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
3 stalks Celery, Diced
6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix (I used Tony Chachere brand)
1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley
1 cup Grated Cheese Of Your Choice (I used sharp cheddar)
Chopped green onions to taste (for garnish)
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (for garnish)

Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.

Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in a blender/food process until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.

Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, green onions, sour cream (or plain yogurt), grated cheese, and crisp bacon pieces.

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