As I sat down to make my menu for this week, I checked on the weather for the next few days (I always do...it tends to help me focus my cooking mojo) and saw that it is gonna be COLD here in the Chi for the next week (at minimum). I'm not talking, "Brr...I need me a sweater" cold. I'm talking, "Holy HELL it's cold outside!" cold. Today we had a whopping high of 12 F. here on the south side. TWELVE. It's 4 days in to 2010 and I'm already longing for five months from now. Screw this "winter" business. I'm totally and completely ready for Spring.
Anywho, that being said, I checked on the weather and decided that this week was perfect for some cozy comfort food. After all, when it's 12 degrees outside, you need something warm, filling, and comforting to make you forget that the high temperature for the day starts with the number 1. I started perusing through some cookbooks and online recipes and couldn't find "the recipe" to make for today. So, I did what any industrious Frazzoo would do in such a situation: I decided to improvise by pulling the trigger and praying. Thankfully for me, it worked!
This soup is a concoction of a few recipes I found in my cookbook stash. It's yummy and filling and warm. Make it today!
Baked Potato Soup
4 baking potatoes
1 onion, diced
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. beef broth
12 oz. evaporated milk (the liquid stuff in the can)
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 green onions, chopped
1 T. bacon bits/chopped bacon (you can use the jarred stuff, I won't judge)
Prepare 4 potoates for baking. Bake for 1 hour at 350 F. or until fork tender. Set aside to cool.
While potatoes are cooling, melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. When butter is nice and melty, add the onion and saute for a few minutes until nice and tender (about 5 minutes). Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. This creates your roux for the soup. It's a nice little base to start with.
Once you've got your roux (it'll look like a thick paste), add the beef broth, followed by the evaporated milk. Give it a good stir to mix it well. The potatoes should be cool enough to handle now. Cut them in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. It can be in small bits to large chunks. A good mix of small and large is what you want. If you can, scoop out the flesh of two potatoes and cut the remaining two in decent sized chunks.
Add the potato flesh to the soup and stir. Use your spoon to break up the large chunks of potato (the smaller pieces will melt into your soup as it thickens). Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir, and taste for seasonings.
As your soup stands, it will thicken. Remove from heat when it's bubbling slightly and reaches your desired consistency. Stir in chopped scallions and chopped bacon. Test for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Stir until heated through and serve warm.
- If we had any sour cream, I would have added a nice dollop to the soup before serving. It adds a nice tang and some creaminess without being too overpowering.
- You can top this with croutons, more bacon, and cheese if you want. Any of your favorite potato toppings are game here.
- This gets hot pretty quick, so be careful not to burn your tongue like a certain Frazzoo did while rushing to finish dinner.
- I served this with some simple grilled chicken sandwiches, but it can stand alone or as a starter course for your meal. Just make a larger batch if you're serving it for a main course.
- Including the preparation for the potatoes, this takes about 90 minutes. However, once the potatoes are out of the oven, this was ready in about 30 minutes. Definitely a keeper for weeknights!