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

Anonymous 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.

A Hunter's Wife said...

Those croutons look scrumptious!

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t = teaspoon
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