Baked Potato SoupSeptember 11, 2007 at 4:32 PM | Posted in Food and drink | 1 Comment
Tags: recipes, Wiseguy Chef
Baked Potato Soup
I was never a big fan of soup before.. .until I tried baked potato soup at a restaurant a few years ago. Since then, I’ve wanted to make it on my own, make it good. Make the best.
Many of the women I work with here in the office are great cooks, so I talked to them, and I also looked at recipes online. I took what I liked from about 9 different recipes, then worked it, tweaked it, messed it up, kept trying–
And this is what I got. I think this is the version I’m going to stick with.
A note about the portions: Yeah, this does make a lot of soup. It’s supposed to. You’re supposed to make enough soup to have a meal one night, left overs for a couple of nights, and bring some in to work to have people try, so you can gloat and lord it over them. Otherwise, where’s the fun? Geez? After about 5 days, you probably want to throw out whatever is left. If it’s good, there won’t be any left. That’s how you tell.
Alot of these creamy soup recipes start with boiling milk, but after scorching the bottom of the pot a couple of times, I said piss on it.
Remembering some of the noodle packages I like, they say boil milk AND water. That’ll keep it from scorching. Now I’m cooking with gas. Really.
Of course, this didn’t keep me from scorching the butter in the bottom of the pan. I just walked away to go to bathroom, I swear! I come back, and the kitchen is full of smoke! Luckily, I had taken the battery out of the smoke detector. I turned the fan on, started getting the smoke sucked out. Detroit came in, coughed and gagged, and opened a window. She is smart.
So, I cleaned the pot out, started over. I brought baked potatoes home the night before from the restaurant–we save alot of them to make potato skins with, but for the most part, we just throw them out.
So, while I had the butter melting on LOW heat, I pulled out the other stuff and got started. I cut the potatoes in half, and then used an ice cream scoop to gut them.
The potato flakes thicken the sauce better than adding the cheeese and sour cream of previous incarnations, with fewer calories. So go ahead and add them as a topping.
1 stick of real butter
6 cups of water
1 pint of half and half
1 can of chicken stock
12 large baked potatoes
1 cup of instant potatoes
2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoon dill weed
I’m a gonna do some modding here on the recipe. Add either two more cups of water, or another can of chicken stock, and cut the potato flakes down to 1/2 a cup. And cut the black pepper down to 1 teaspoon, or 1 1/2 at the most. What happens is, it gets too thick, and it’s no longer soup. Also, after the first day, the pepper really comes out, like enough to make your forehead sweat.
Note: Make sure you use baked potatoes. You can bake them the day before, even, and refrigerate them. Easier to scoop than a hot baked potato–I’m not big on the pain.
When I bake them, it is usually wrapped in foil at 425 for 45 minutes to an hour. When they soften up–when you can squeeze them and they give a little–they are done. Don’t overthink it. These are just potatoes.
In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over high heat. Then, after you scorch the pan and burn the butter, clean it out and start over, and melt the butter on low heat. Add water, chicken stock, and half and half. Bring to boil. While waiting for it to boil, cut potatoes in half, scoop out in chunks, place in a bowl.
NOTE: Attack the bowl with a knife, cutting the potatoes into small pieces.
When water, stock, and dairy begin to boil, add potatoes and spices. I generally let it come to a boil on low heat, so I have time to gut the bakers. Stir occasionally until it boils again, then add potato flakes, mix. Make sure you pour way more than a cup of potato flakes into the measuring cup, so it overflows and goes all over the counter. Just leave it there, so your girlfriend can clean it up later. You’ve been doing the cooking, and she feels left out, so leave some cleaning for her. She’ll appreciate it. Trust me. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Top with choice of cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, and chives, and serve.
I had originally used sour cream and cheese to thicken the sauce, without much success. I read a few other recipes, and one of them mentioned the potato flakes, and a light just went off. This thickens up nicely, without adding calories or fat–so go ahead and add as much as you want as a topping.
By the way, I think the dill really makes it.