Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Month of Soups: Loaded Baked Potato

DH loves baked potatoes for dinner, either as an accompaniment or as dinner by itself (loaded with goodies, of course). Whenever I am making a bunch for guests, or even just us, I bake up a few extra so I can make this soup or its plainer cousin. We like all kinds of potato soup, even cold vichyssoise. But for you, here’s the deluxe hot potato soup!

First, though, for the best soup, you must bake the potatoes in the oven not in the microwave. Real baking seems to change the flavor as well as the texture.

First, set the oven to 425°. While the oven is heating, I wash the potatoes well, dirty little things that they are, and dry them off. Cut a small x on each side. I coat my hands with a bit of olive oil and give each potato a massage. Last, I roll each potato in a dish with fresh ground sea salt so there’s a nice little coat on each. I learned that bit from Alton Brown.

Once the potatoes are baked, I cut them into big chunks and do a rough mash. Now follow the recipe below to have your very own bowls of this terrific soup.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (serves ~6-8)

6 large potatoes, baked

1 medium onion, diced

1 T butter

1 T olive oil

¼ pound steak, diced

6 c Half-and-Half, divided

1½ c sour cream

¾ c sharp cheddar, grated, divided

2 green onions, sliced diagonally

6 slices of bacon, crispy-cooked and crumbled

1 T chives

Mash the potatoes, skin on, to make bite size chunks. Set aside the biggest chunks in a bowl. In another bowl, keep the smaller chunks. They should be about equal amounts.

Put the larger chunks in your food processor or blender with ½ cup of the Half-and-Half. Puree. Set aside.

Sauté the diced onion in the sizzling oil and butter in a Dutch oven or large pot. Stir to keep from burning. Remove the onions when they are translucent. Put in cubes of steak and brown on all sides. If you want your steak less rare, cook longer. Remove the steak to another bowl.

Put onions back in the pot. Add the Half-and-Half and potato puree and the bowl of small chunks of potato. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add sour cream and ½ cup of the cheese. Stir until well blended. Put soup into bowls and sprinkle with green onions, cheese, bacon, chives, and steak chunks.

DH’s Rating: 4.5 Tongues Up. His only complaint--too filling! Hey! Did I claim this was a diet food?

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