Thursday, January 1, 2009

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I found this recipe on the 30 Day Gourmet site. On the site, they have adjusted the amount of ingredients for larger or multiple batches if making all at once. You can check out the Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe here. I have both made the recipe to serve immediately and to freeze for a later meal. It is a good way to use up any leftover baked potatoes from a previous meal. It also can be adjusted to make a lighter version by using lighter or fat-free, low sodium, etc. versions of the ingredients.

Serves 8

4 large baking potatoes
10 tablespoons butter or margarine
2/3 cup flour
6 cups milk
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1-1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon balck pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 ounces sour cream

2-3 green onion sliced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3-4 slices cooked bacon, cooked and crumbled

Scrub potatoes and wrap each one in aluminum foil. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 60-90 minutes, or until they’re soft when you squeeze them. Remove the potatoes from the oven, unwrap and cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp into a large bowl. Set aside. Save the leftover skins to make potato skins, or discard.

Melt butter or margarine in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring until smooth. Cook for about a minute, stirring constantly. Turn heat up to medium and continue stirring while slowly adding the milk. Continue to stir until mixture is thick and bubbly. Add the cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and bacon. Mash the potato pulp with a hand-held potato masher, a fork, or a mixer, to get rid of the large chunks. Add the potato pulp to the pan, stirring to mix. When it is heated through, add the sour cream and stir to mix well. Do not boil the soup. Set aside to cool.

Freeze in freezer bags or rigid containers based on your family size. Seal, label and freeze.

Thaw at least overnight in the refrigerator. Put the soup in a saucepan or microwave-safe container to heat. The soup will have the consistency of soft mashed potatoes. If needed, stir in some milk to make it more “soup-like”. But the soup should be thick, not runny. Once it’s heated through, spoon into serving bowls. Top each bowl with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar, sliced green onions and crumbled bacon as garnish.

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