Matt found this recipe on one of his money blogs and requested it for a dinner this week. When they say hearty they mean hearty, this is a thick, thick cream of potato soup. We added lots of extras to the original recipe; bacon, ham (we had a little leftover from Easter), green onions & croutons. The bacon added great flavor & we used the bacon fat to cook the onions as a substitution for some the butter in the original recipe. We thought about adding some shredded cheese but after tasting it realized it was so thick & rich that cheese was the last thing it needed. The croutons too were not needed in this soup at all & we'd skip them next time. I was afraid of using seasoning salt to flavor this instead of adding our own spice mix, thinking it might be a little overpowering but it really was just right. This was a perfect winter soup & we'll make it again & again.
3 large russet potatoes, cleaned, skins pierced 3-4 times with a fork
2 slices of good bacon, cut into 1/2 pieces
1 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c flour
2 c chicken broth or stock
12 oz fat-free evaporated milk
2 t seasoning salt
1/2 c cooked ham, chopped (optional)
4 green onions, chopped
1 c croutons (optional)
Microwave the potatoes until cooked through (every microwave is different, ours took about 14 minutes). Set the potatoes aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel to drain. Add butter & onion. Cook until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic & cook until just fragrant. Add the flour & stir for 1 minute, do not allow the roux to brown. Slowly add the evaporated milk & broth while stirring. Scoop the pulp from one of the potatoes & mash it a bit. Add it to the soup. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Add the seasoning salt. Dice the remaining two potatoes, skin & all (you can also dice the empty skin from the first potato). Add the diced potatoes, ham & bacon to the soup. Heat through. Serve with onions & croutons on top if you wish.
Maybe I should have saved this one for tonight's winter storm.