For Gabby’s party last month, we served a trio of soups and salads. This was the first one to go. It’s a crowd pleaser. Beyond that though, it’s easy to prep on the weekend and have ready to warm up on a busy, cold evening. Coming home to a warm bowl of baked potato soup should be something that lifts the spirit a bit. Unless of course, a massive tree has fallen down in the middle of your driveway, you break the microwave handle and your three-year-old declares all soup is “yucky” and proceeds to whine about it for the remainder of the evening.
I was talking to a good friend today and she mentioned that she just wanted a night alone, in quiet, without her spouse and kids. With tv, yoga pants, and nachos. I admitted that I was thinking about the exact same thing that very morning. I hope it’s not just us. I’m going to guess that other moms have those days too.
This is pure comfort food. No matter whether you’re going slightly upscale with a buffet of soups and fancy salads or you’re coming home and making dinner for your family. Even my picky three year old will eat the bacon and cheese off the top without complaint!
baked potato soup
8 russet potatoes, medium sized*
1 large onion (or 2 small/medium), chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
⅔ cup flou
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups whole (or 2%) milk (or half and half, for an extra creamy soup)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (divided into 1 cup portions)
7-8 slices bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp
2 green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce potatoes with a fork and bake until tender.
After potatoes have finished baking, heat butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook chopped onion and garlic until translucent and softened. Add flour and stir until incorporated. (You’re making a roux!) Add chicken broth gradually, stirring so that lumps are no longer apparent. Add all of the chicken broth and the milk. Turn heat to low.
Chop up half of the potatoes with skins on and scoop out the flesh of the other half. (Reserve the skins for a quick snack or to serve topped with cheese, bacon, sour cream and chives as a meal along with a salad.) Put the chopped potatoes into the soup and stir. At this point, your soup can be stored in the fridge until you’re ready to warm it and complete the addition of the “loaded potato” ingredients.
Add in 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup shredded cheese. Allow to melt.
To serve, top with cheese, bacon, and green onions (or chives).
* If you’re using larger potatoes, use 4-6 instead