Saturday, January 1, 2011

Recipes- Baked Potato Soup and Waste-Not-Potato Skins

My mother Karen (like her mother AND grandmother before her) belongs to an S.O. (serving others) Circle at her church.  If they host a large luncheon or dinner, they will send duplicate recipes home to their members, and bring the smaller batches all made so that way they can feed a whole bunch of people the same meal.
This Baked Potato Soup from her S.O. Circle is what my mom served us for part of our Christmas Eve dinner (see the Trinidad Slaw recipe here).
Baked Potato Soup
Can be doubled
4 large baking potatoes or 8 small ones (about 2 1/2 lbs)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups milk
1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided (we used leeks...cause we had them)
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled.
Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400* for one hour or until tender.  This step can be done in advance or you can even you can even use leftover baked potatoes.  Allow to cool.  Slice in half and then scoop insides into bowl (there will be some potato still inside the skins).  Discard the skins (OR see our Potato skin recipe below) and break any large potato chunks into bite-sized or smaller pieces.
Place flour into a large pot and gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended.  Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly but do NOT bring to a full boil!!!!  Boiling will lead TO CURDLED SOUP, and hey, no one likes curdled soup!  (direct quote from recipe)

Add potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir until cheese melts and remove from heat.  Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions.
Cook over low heat until soup is heated thoroughly.  Again, this is a reicpe where you have to be vigilant!! Don't let it boil and don't let it burn the bottom of the running off to check you email (once again, another actual quote LOL).
Serve warm- garnish with rest of cheese, rest of onions and top with bacon.

Using the skins leftover from making the soup, melt some butter and brush onto the potatoes in the skins.  Top with cheese, bacon (we used a reserve from the soup recipe above), and salt and pepper.
Broil for 2-4 depending on distance of shelf in oven.
Serve with sour cream (optional) or dip into your soup, or ranch dressing.
We wanted something nice & cozy and this was perfect after sitting around the bonfire singing Christmas carols!  Thanks Mom!

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