Sunday, November 13, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

The first snow prompts me to start digging through my soup recipes. Most folks go for chili but, to be honest, we still have a huge container in the freezer from the last time we made chili. Our kids aren't huge fans of kidney beans or ground beef, and 50% of them hate tomatoes. So soup it is.

This soup lingers in my head days before I actually make it, which is a huge plus because it does require a little prep work. For instance, when I cook bacon I bake it in the oven and I usually cook a whole pound. I use a little for that morning's breakfast and then keep the rest in a container in the refrigerator for salads, a BLT or, as in this case, for soup.

When the oven is on, I like to use it as much as I can so I tend to powerbake. If I start that morning baking muffins, I will likely make a quick casserole or a bread or something else we will eat during the week so that I'm getting good use out of the energy the stove is producing. On Friday, between baking bread and waiting for the pizza dough to rise, I baked potatoes with this soup in mind for the weekend. (Also I'm horrible about timing and waiting for yeast doughs to do their thing.) This is one of my most favorite wintertime soups, I hope you enjoy it.

Baked Potato Soup

9 baked potatoes (I leave the skins on)
3 Cup Water
3 Cup chicken broth
2 Cup half and half
4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
2 Tablespoons of herbs (I use thyme & oregano, but use what you like)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 chives, chopped
1 Cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1. Dice potatoes and toss them in the crock pot
2. Add all the remaining ingredients and slow cook for about 8 hours
3. Ladle soup into food processor and blend. Start with 1/4 of the soup and then pour it back into the crockpot. Give it a stir and then continue blending the soup until you reach a consistency you like. Some people like a more brothy potato soup--we are more of a creamy soup family around here, so I usually blend about 80% of the soup.

Some recipes recommend that you saute your onions and garlic first, but I don't taste too much of a difference so I skip this step for the sake of one less dirty pan in the sink.

This is a lot of soup. You will be able to eat this all weekend and maybe even have a bowl or two leftover for lunch on Monday.  Enjoy!

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