Thursday, September 11, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

I've been stuck in a rut with my dinners lately.  I feel like we have the same old things over and over and over and over again.  We like those things, but I've got to have variety every once in a while.  So I was desperately searching through some cookbooks for something new to try and came across a baked potato soup recipe that sounded delicious.  It is not a healthy soup, but at least it is something new.  I got a bit of a late start cooking this and Brett pitched in and helped because as he said, "If I didn't help we wouldn't have eaten until 10!"

For whatever reason, I have always had difficulty baking potatoes.  In the microwave the skin gets crusty and gross, and sometimes the outside part of the potato gets a little crusty too.  This recipe called for baking the potatoes in the oven, which I'd never tried before, so I was excited about having a new method.  400 degrees for 1 hour.  Well the potatoes were hard as rocks.  Clearly they were not cooked all the way through.  So I tossed those hot potatoes in the microwave which helped a little but they were still pretty firm.  One of these days I will figure out how to properly bake a potato, how hard can it be?! Brett got assigned the duty of scooping out and mashing the innards.

I got to work on the soup.  It starts with a roux (1/3 cup each of butter and flour) cooked over low heat and then I added 3 cups of milk and stirred constantly until it got nice and thick.  When Brett finished mashing 1 and a half potatoes I added those along with 3/4 tsp salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.  When that was all mixed up I added 1 T of chopped green onion, and 1/2 a cup of grated cheddar cheese and sour cream.  Unfortunately, I didn't have all my ingredients ready to go, so I was running around grating cheese at the last minute while Brett fried the bacon.

I know bacon is a very simple thing to make, but neither of us had done it before.  Brett did a fabulous job.  He looked kind of funny wearing an oven mitt and holding tongs (that stuff splatters!) but who cares what you look like when your bacon turns out perfectly crisp and delicious.

Some extra green onions and lots of bacon topped the soup, making a wonderful (even if it was late) dinner.  It was very thick so I think the word soup is misleading.  It was more like a thick chowder, or thin mashed potatoes.  I think we will see this one again, but I'll make sure to prep a little bit better and work on my potato baking skills.  Yum!


Julie said...

Hi...just happened on your blog. :) a quick comment on the baking method you can try is to wrap them in foil. It helps "steam" them and they will cook faster. Also, you should poke the potatoe with a fork before wrapping it to help let the steam out. Another method I like to try is to rub the potatoe with a bit of olive oil (after poking some holes) then sprinkle some kosher salt on them. Then bake at 400 for about 1 hour. Cooking time really just depends on the size of the potatoe...smaller potatoes cook faster, of course. :)

Thanks for the soup recipe! I will try it!

Kim in the Kitchen said...

Thanks Julie! I tried poking holes and wrapping them in foil already. I'll try the olive oil and salt next time just for good measure. If that doesn't work then maybe I'll give up on baking potatoes :)

Lisa Conmara said...

There is an ad running on Irish tv saying for Lurpak butter promoting the baking of potatoes in the oven after being so long in the ground it shouldn't be cooked in 2 minutes.... its a sweet ad! But I agree, I've nver done a potato in the microwave, I've tasted one done that way and it tasted steamy not baked. My mother starts hers off in the microwave and bakes it then but I put them in foil, crossed with a knife first, into a cold oven which I then put on to heat at about 180 and leave them there for ages, until a skewer can go through the foil, skin and middle without any energy from me... Oh its worth it... Its not like you have to mind it, I just pop them in and go about my business... the smell will keep you in check! Great late night snack!

Lisa Conmara said...

Also Kim, just reading your post again, not every potato species is a baker! You need a floury potato not a waxy one. The bag will usually say "great for baking" - I don't know if you guys have the same potatoes as us over here so I looked online and it said in America the baking potatoes are as follows "Some of the names you’ll see them under in the supermarket are Russet Burbank, Russet Arcadia, Norgold Russet, Goldrush, Norkotah, Long White (or White Rose or California Long White), and Idaho."