Monday, March 22, 2010

Baked Potato Soup - Tasty Tuesday!

I did a lot of cooking last week. A lot. In addition to making regular meals for my family, I was also in charge of bringing lunch for twenty-five people at my local school district for our twice monthly meeting with the PTO presidents. That's a lot of food.

Since it was St. Patrick's Day on Wednesday, I decided that whatever I made had to fit the theme. Corned beef was out, since so many people are anti-corned beef - oh and the smell in a small room for two hours? Yeah, that killed it, too. I was going to do baked potatoes (Irish potato famine, anyone?) with all sorts of toppings and chili. Until the person at the last meeting brought in chili with all the toppings. Ugh.

I wracked my brains and finally came up with something. I made the Irish soda bread I mentioned last week, along with homemade whole wheat baguettes. I did a quick spinach salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Oh, and I made a baked potato soup.

I started making all of the above at 7am the day of the lunch. I had to be out of the house for an event at school at 10am. Start doing the math. Yikes! The soup was great. The second day. Cooking for two hours the day of the event? Well, it was decent, but it's possible that the potatoes were a little crunchy. Oops. Needless to say, I changed a few things around to account for my little mistake, and the soup - all two huge crockpots of it - has been gone for three days now.

I served it with a couple garnishes - fresh parsley, shredded cheddar, and crumbled bacon. The unexpected winner of the garnishes? The parsley made the best addition of all of them. If you're making this soup, make sure you put parsley on when you serve it!

Oh, and my other lesson? When traveling with two very full crock pots, use Saran Wrap, not masking tape. Those fill lines on your crock pot are there for a reason. My poor car.

Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients:
3 bacon strips, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
4 c chicken broth
1 baked baking potato, cubed
2-3 baked red potatoes, cubed
1 t basil, dried
1 c half and half
1/2 t Tabasco (or other hot sauce)
1 c shredded cheddar
1/2 c fresh parsley, minced

Directions:
Bake your potatoes, and cube them. Note that the red potatoes will cook faster than the baking potatoes (you want the baking potatoes for their added starch to thicken the soup).

In a large saucepan (I used my Le Creuset bouillabase pan to make the whole thing), cook bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Keep 1 tablespoon bacon drippings, and dispose of the remainder.

Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour slowly and mix well to ensure it doesn't clump. Add the salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Cook for 3 minutes to get the raw taste out of the flour.

Gradually add broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil.

You can also make this without baking the potatoes first. In that case, you'll want to take the boiled broth to a crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients as directed, and cook on low for 10 or more hours. It really is better the next day!

Garnish with bacon, cheese, and parsley. With all the soup I made, you'd think that I had a picture. Nope. I didn't take a one. It was so good I only remembered to take one after half the bowl was gone.

And yes, as always - go check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesday with Blessed with Grace!

14 comments:

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace March 22, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

Wow, that was am ambitious undertaking. Kudos to you, even with a few minor mishaps!
So, I told my hubby about your Imo's comment. He laughed. Apparently he ate the Imo's last week before we got here. (He has been here for 2 wks already.). Anyway, he agrees with you. He commented on the "weird cheese". SO, thanks for the tip. I miss our Giordano's already!

Sherry March 22, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

Oh, yuM! Sorry to hear about your car. :( Ugh!

Dan March 22, 2010 at 11:23 PM  

Duct Tape. Never leave home without it!

Sounds tasty, just use the tape and head for the spot.

HeatherinSF March 22, 2010 at 11:37 PM  

Crock pots have fill lines? good to know! I love potatoes in all forms and just made soup myself, but I have more potatoes in the pantry and this sounds perfect! It's trying to be spring here but it's chilly and a bowl of this would really make me happy.

Alexis AKA MOM March 22, 2010 at 11:57 PM  

Oh wow my dear you're rocking the meals! I'm loving the potato soup too!! YUMMY

MrsJenB March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM  

Ooooh this sounds so good! And I'm totally with you on forgetting to snap a pic of the finished product! haha

Ginger March 23, 2010 at 12:43 PM  

Sounds sooo good.

Pat March 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM  

Yummy! You are Superwoman, Michelle. I get exhausted just reading about all you do...you're definitely a wonderful asset to your kids' school and to your community. I'm saving this recipe in my Recipes file on my computer. I have many in there from you!

Fishsticks and Fireflies March 23, 2010 at 2:31 PM  

I am going to try the CrockPot version of this! We are expected to get another 10 to 15 inches of snow in the next couple of days and this will be the perfect way to warm up!

Corrie Howe March 23, 2010 at 5:09 PM  

Sounds yummy! I will have to start thinking about feeding a high school soccer team again soon. I think I'll keep this in mind for them.

Laura March 23, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

LOVE baked potato soup. One of my favorites! Thanks for linking up.

Michelle March 23, 2010 at 8:38 PM  

Lisa - Sometimes I don't always use my head... Fortunately, it worked out.

Sherry - Yeah... every time Little Miss gets in, I hear "Mommy, your car smells a little funny." And no time to truly get to the car wash yet. Tomorrow!

Dan - I thought duct tape didn't like moisture though. Am I wrong?

Heather - Yeah. They warn about not filling them more than 2/3 full ;) It was quite yummy!

Alexis - Go for it. I bet your family would eat it up - AND it's not a casserole!

MrsJenB - So glad I'm not the only one who forgets the picture. I always intend to, but ....

Ginger - It is, it is. Even my husband ate multiple days of leftovers.

Pat - Superwoman, ha! Do you know how much more I need to do that I haven't gotten to yet? Egads.

Nichole - Ten to fifteen inches? Oh, I am so done with winter. I can't do this anymore! Go make some soup!

Corrie - A whole high school soccer team? Tripled this recipe might not be enough for them. Yowsers.

Laura - Oh me, too. Unfortunately I put in too much Tabasco for Mister Man, so he couldn't eat it, but generally he does, too. That'll teach me to measure nothing!

septembermom March 25, 2010 at 8:18 AM  

Yummy! I know this would feed my hungry crowd. Thanks Michelle :)

Michelle March 25, 2010 at 11:26 PM  

Kelly - Yep, and nice and easy, too! I hope you like it (and make it) :)

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