Baked Potato Soup: For the Coming Cold Weather Days and Easy Weeknight Meal
I must admit that I'm not a big soup eater. I don't even know why as I'm not a texture eater per se and I love everything about food that has depth of flavor. I can count on one hand the types of soup I'll even make or eat. As a child when I would get sick the only soup my mother could get me to eat was Ramen. Baked potato soup for me though is a staple. I love it at restaurants and there's nothing I love more than making a large pot of it at home for us to eat off of for a few days, as it is super easy to construct and you can make large quantities of it and tailor it to your culinary needs (i.e. use vegetable stock for vegetarian version, turkey bacon for my non pork eaters like my hubby, and vary the cheese you use based on what is in your home currently as this supposed to be a fast weeknight meal).
8 bacon slices chopped or a 1 cup of chopped pancetta (optional)
4 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup yellow onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low fat milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of parmesan
1 cup sour cream
2 green onions chopped
Pierce the potatoes multiple times with a fork, then microwave them for 7- 8 minutes. Let cool for five minutes and them peel potatoes and chopped into bite size square pieces.
If you're using bacon or pancetta cook in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to a plate to drain and cool. Reserve up to 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan, discarding the rest.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the reserved bacon fat, garlic and onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Slowly whisk the flour into the pan and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and heavy cream. Keep whisking until smooth. Gradually add stock. Bring to a light simmer and whisk in the kosher salt, and pepper. Keep at a light simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in the cheeses, bacon, and the sour cream. Then add potatoes into the pot and simmer at low heat for 5 mins. (Depending on how you like your texture you may then use an immersion blender to puree the potatoes
completely into the soup and you won't have any chunks) Serve hot, topped with your favorite garnishes, like some extra cheese or the green onions.