Virtual Cookbook: Baked potato soup

Baked potato soup from www.PlayingHouse.com by Amy Isaacson

Baked potato soup from www.PlayingHouse.com by Amy Isaacson

After Christmas vacation with my family, I left with funny and happy memories, presents, and, unfortunately, a cold.

So when I woke up from my holiday fog and realized this week was a Virtual Cookbook week, I knew I had to make soup. I’ve been living on soup since I started feeling sick.

This baked potato soup did not disappoint. It took a little longer than I anticipated (about an hour for the potatoes to bake, and then another 45 minutes or so to finish up), but it was worth it. I was hard pressed to resist going back for seconds — and I haven’t had much of an appetite.

The recipe is from Cooking Light, so it’s not quite the heart-attack special that most soups based on a loaded baked potato might be. But it is creamy, savory and filling. I found it on www.PlayingHouse.com.

It calls for 2 percent milk, but I used 1 percent instead. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with a thick, creamy broth. I left my potatoes a little chunky, mashing them with a potato masher. If you’d like a smoother soup, you could run them through the food processor.

Baked Potato Soup

Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe and Amy Isaacson's PlayingHouse.com.

Ingredients

4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)

2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)

6 cups 2 percent reduced-fat milk

1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided

6 bacon or turkey bacon slices, cooked and crumbled Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preparation

* Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash.

* Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

* Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons onions, and about 1 tablespoon bacon or turkey bacon. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.

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