Sunday, October 27, 2013

Baked Potato Soup

If you have some extra potatoes already baked, this soup is even faster on a chilly evening.  Just remove the peel and stir in the cooked potatoes once the cauliflower is tender.  Cauliflower adds a silkiness to the texture of the soup that is subtle but special.

Our Baked Potato Soup
Serves 4
2 slices bacon, chopped in inch wide pieces
2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
½ onion, diced
1 large baking potato
3 medium eastern potatoes
½ head cauliflower
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
Optional garnishes: grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives or chopped scallion, bacon (reserved from rendered bacon fat), black pepper

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy.  Remove bacon as it crisps and reserve to garnish soup.   Leave bacon fat in pot.  
  2. Lower heat and add celery and onion.   Cook vegetables until tender.  
  3. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into quarters.  Cut the large baking potato into eighths.  All the potatoes should be about the same size.  Add potatoes and chicken broth to pot and bring to a boil.  
  4. Chop cauliflower into large florets.  When soup is boiling, lower heat to medium and add cauliflower.  
  5. Boil soup over medium heat, partially covered for 30 minutes until potatoes and cauliflower can be easily mashed with a fork.   Add water if liquid becomes to low.  
  6. When vegetables are fork-tender, remove soup from heat.   Using a large spoon, break up the potatoes so they are in smaller, bite sized pieces.  Stir in milk.  Stir in half the salt and taste.  Add remaining salt if needed.  Finally stir in butter.  
  7. At this point you can serve the soup with garnishes or you can puree it.  To puree, use an immersion blender or allow the soup to cool about an hour before pouring into a blender to puree.  Soup may be made a day in advance.  Store covered and refrigerated.