Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hearty Baked Potato Soup

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.
Hearty Baked Potato Soup

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.

Serves 4

Maybe I should have saved this one for tonight's winter storm.


Neen said...

So it uses evaporated milk instead of cream. Interesting! Not one of those delicate watery soups! If I try this, I would probably nix the croutons and instead serve with large hunks o bread. Yum, caveman food :)

Jen said...

Kat-- this looks like it would be the perfect thing to make with the sack of potatoes that has been sitting on my counter for a week... I was a little worried that it would have a ton of fat since you said it was really rich, but the fat-free evaporated milk is an interesting idea.

Deborah said...

We had potato soup a lot growing up, so it probably is a frugal food! I love using evaporated milk instead of cream sometimes - it works well and has less fat. This soup sounds like a winner!

MrOrph said...

I love potato soup and your's looks spot on! I like to add a little cheese to mine though. That's just me. :0D

Anonymous said...

ooooh thank you so much for blogging your recipe, this looks so delicious, just the thing for a cold spring day in England :-)

kat said...

Mr. Orph - Use a good tangy cheese with this like a sharp cheddar

Kristina said...

potato soup is a favorite in my house, and i love croutons... thanks for sharing!

Jen said...

Kat-- I've just posted my version of your version of the potato soup (with a link back to your original of course) it's at

if you'd like to take a look. It turned out really well.

Anonymous said...

hi! i'm a fellow foodie blogroll member and found your site as i was going through some of them. i just made this soup on saturday and it was SO good. it was hearty and creamy. i ended up omitting the ham and added a bit more chicken stock to thin out the soup to feed more, then topped it with bacon, green onions and cheese. YUM! thanks for the recipe.

Jen said...

Those croutons look scrumptious!

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t = teaspoon
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