I’m going to be up front with you–I make a kick-ass baked potato soup. It was one of the first recipes I adapted and changed before actually cooking the first time, and five years later, not much has changed.
The original recipe came from a Betty Crocker cookbook my mother had given me, a basic cream of potato soup. I found it interesting how the recipe simmered the veggies until soft, and pureed only half of the soup. The puree was rich and velvety, and I found little need for the cream the recipe called for.
I did, however, change a few things. The original recipe had you simmer the veggies in water, and then throw the water out and using chicken stock for the actual soup. Why would you throw out liquid that you basically just simmered all the veggies vitamins and nutrients into?! And why use water, when it brought no extra flavor to the party? So I decided to simmer the veggies in chicken stock, and use the same stock in the soup.
This was also the first recipe I started to cook with bacon fat. Just a tablespoon of the magical elixir of bacon fat will turn any potato soup into a loaded baked potato party with bacon as the guest of honor, and really, when is there ever too much bacon? NEVER.
Well, maybe at bar mitzvah. But other than that, never.
Most days I make this soup, I don’t even measure the ingredients…I just use whatever I have on hand. Sometimes it a carrot-heavy soup, sometimes celery-heavy, but as long as potatoes make up the bulk of the veg, the soup will turn out fine.
Just make sure to have plenty of chicken stock on hand to thin out the soup in case it is too thick after you puree half of it.
I like to finish the soup off with some crumbled bacon, chopped chives, and shredded sharp cheddar to really give that baked potato appearance. Yes, you could add sour cream to the mix, but I figured adding straight bacon fat to the soup was decadent enough for this soup. Plus, the pureed potatoes are creamy enough without the sour cream.
Recipe: Leena’s Baked Potato Soup
Summary: A creamy potato soup spiked with bacon and cheddar.
- 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 large yellow onion, small diced
- 2 large carrots, large diced
- 1/4 cup peeled and chopped butternut squash
- 1 large celery stalk, large diced
- 4 slices of high quality bacon, cooked and fat saved
- 6 cups of chicken stock (might not use all)
- cheese and chopped chives for garnish
- Simmer the potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and squash in 3 cups of chicken stock until soft. Drain and save remaining stock. Place half of the vegetables in blender in batches, adding a bit of stock to help puree them smooth. Add the pureed vegetables back into the pot with the remaining chunky cooked vegetables.
- Place over medium heat and add chicken stock, one cup at a time, stirring until the soup is at a consistency you like. Add in a tablespoon of bacon fat and chopped bacon, allow flavors to simmer together on medium low heat for ten minutes.
- Ladle finished soup into a bowl, and top with chopped chives and sharp cheddar cheese. Enjoy with a grilled cheese sandwich or a piece of crusty bread!
Number of servings (yield): 4
Meal type: lunch
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
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