I took the dog out last night and it was cold. Like close-your-eyes-and-you-can-smell-snow kind of cold. Well, almost smell it. The sky was a cover of grey clouds…clouds that you could almost call snow clouds. This chilliness made me very glad that I made such a hearty soup for dinner. J And the hubby loved it and asked me to write down the recipe in our notebook so we can have it again. He and I both had second helpings…but I’ll be honest, my girls weren’t too excited about it. They don’t seem to really go for any kind of soup. Period. But since there weren’t any leftovers, I’ll mark this as a success. J
With cold days and even colder nights ahead, I want to share the recipe to warm your souls too.
Baked Potato Soup
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Soups magazine
*This made enough for my husband and I to have 2 helpings each and my girls both had a small bowl. So if you are feeding a family with bigger kids or just with bigger appetites, you may want to double the recipe.*2 lrg russet potatoes
3 Tbsp butter
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tsp chopped fresh dill
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
4 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
8 slices turkey bacon, cooked crisp, drained & chopped up* (see fun note at the bootom)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub potatoes and pat dry. Prick potatoes several times with a fork. Bake for 60 minutes, until tender. Pull out of the oven and let them cool.
Once they have cooled down enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and gently scoop out the pulp into a bowl. Be sure to break up any large pieces. Discard the potato skins.
In a large saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until it has melted. Add 3 tablespoons of the green onions. Cook and stir until it is tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Whisk in the flour, dill, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring frequently, for 12 to 15 minutes until it has thickened and is bubbly.
Add the potato pulp, 1 ½ cups of the cheese (we used a combination of sharp cheddar and Gouda) and half of the chopped up bacon. Stir until the cheese is melted.
Ladle the soup into bowls.
Top each with some of the remaining cheese, bacon and green onions.
Or, what we did is you can ladle the soup into the bowls and then have a bunch of toppings on the table for everyone to pick and choose what they want. In the center of the table we had fat free sour cream, shredded cheddar & Gouda, sliced green onions, chopped up bacon and slices of toasted up Italian bread that I broke into pieces (in essence making them large croutons).
Whichever way you go, you can’t go wrong. J The soup is delicious and it’s hearty and a meal unto itself. It’s going to be perfect for these cold winter days ahead!
*Here's a fun little note: If you are like me, then you hate cooking bacon because of the grease splatters. But I can't be without bacon. J
Place a cooling rack on top of a shallow baking pan (make sure it has a rim). Lay out the bacon on the rack and pop in a 425 degree F oven until it’s as crispy as you like it. Voila! No splatter, no burns, just crispy yummy bacon. J