February 9, 2015

Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

I recently made a big pot of loaded potato soup when Chris had bronchitis. We are big potato soup lovers in our family, especially in the colder Winter months. You can throw this in a bread bowl or pair it with a sandwich or roll. It's hearty enough that a bowl of it will fill you on its own though! I hope you enjoy!


Ingredients:
  • 11 TBS of salted butter
  • 2/3 cups of flour
  • 4 cups of milk, warmed, skim, 2%, whole --whatever ya got. I used 2%.
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped and divided
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Freshly shredded would be best, but let's face it the bagged stuff works just fine here.
  • 8 slices of bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, divided
  • 1/2 bag of southern style hash browns thawed and completely cooked*
  • sour cream
  • additional shredded cheese for topping
Method
  • In a large soup pot or dutch oven (I use a large enameled cast iron dutch oven) melt butter over medium heat.
  • Once the butter is melted whisk in the flour.
  • Cook the flour and butter for about five minutes. This is important so you lose the floury taste in the roux. Give the flour a whisk every thirty seconds to a minute. Don't let it burn.
  • Slowly pour the warm milk into the roux whisking constantly. It is VERY important that you warm your milk up. I cannot express this enough. If you dump cold milk in you will end up with a soup full of lumps and clumps, and no one wants that!
  • When the milk mixture is smooth, go ahead and add the chicken broth as well. Be sure to whisk while adding the broth also.
  • Add a good handful of the green onions, reserving some for garnish, and stir into the pot.
  • Add the black pepper and garlic powder and stir in as well.
  • Continue to cook over medium heat until mixture thickens a bit and begins to bubble, stirring occasionally. You could turn the heat up just a tiny bit to help speed this along, but if you do that keep a close eye on your soup.
  • Next add the cheese in two separate batches. Be sure to stir the first batch of cheese in until completely smooth before adding the next.
  • Stir in the majority of your crumbled bacon, reserving some for garnish.
  • Stir in the hash brown potatoes.
  • Allow soup to bubble and simmer for 5-10 minutes for the flavors to meld. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper as needed. There is a lot of salt in the cheese and the broth, but you've added two very bland things (flour and potatoes) so you might find that your soup needs a bit more salt.
  • Here you can either stir the sour cream into the soup or serve it on top. I serve it on top because Chris doesn't like sour cream.
  • Serve in bowls topped with cheese, green onions and bacon.
  • NOTE: For the hashbrowns I usually dump about half the bag into a microwave safe bowl and zap them for 10 minutes stirring once in the middle. This thaws and cooks them. I can also do this while I am making the roux etc
What are your favorite Winter weather recipes?