Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

Ever since I got sick in November and my mother-in-law brought us potato soup for dinner, it has been in the back of my mind as a potential meal idea. I just loved it, both for dinner and for lunch the next day!

When I finally decided to try it this week, it wasn't by my own brilliance, but that of my mother-in-law, who suggested I take the extra baked potatoes we had leftover from Chris' birthday dinner last week. Can I just say, I would never have thought of that! So, with the main ingredient for potato soup in my fridge, I set out to find an easy, healthy-ish recipe.

Here's what I found: Cooking Light's Baked Potato Soup, which reviews have rated outstanding! I would have to agree it is pretty phenomenol! It is hearty, creamy, slightly chunky and has a decedant sprinkle of flavorful bacon on top (leftover from Chris' birthday breakfast!).

Typically I follow directions to a tee the first time I use a recipe and then I may tweek it later, but with this soup I used skim milk instead of the recommended 2%, since that's what I normally buy. We still found it to be remarkably creamy and thick, so I would say either would probably do just fine.

Baked Potato Soup
4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)
6 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extrasharp 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 slices, cooked and crumbled
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.
Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° 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. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.

Makes 8 (1 1/2) cup servings

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