Thursday, February 17, 2005

Baked Potato Soup

So, it's been a while. Sadly, my absence has been due to notsomuch cooking combined with some notsoimpressive results. Not that I'm complaining about everything -- I've been spending a lot more time in the city exploring and working on my other site. I had a couple of delicious Restaurant Week meals, checked out 'Inoteca, went on a tour of Grand Central (where we sampled the Prohibition Punch in Campbell Apartment) and visited The Gates (including a delicious stop at the nearby Great Burrito).

Enough about everything non-cooking that I've done lately (and I refuse to discuss the notsogreat kitchen experiments). Last night, I made Baked Potato Soup. Now, there are some recipes that call for 2/3 a cup of butter, but I worked from a Cooking Light recipe which creates a surprisingly rich, but fairly healthy soup (assuming you're not low-carb or anything). I've made this recipe many times, mostly because we get potatoes nearly every week in our delivery and they accumulate quickly.

As Dan will attest, I am staunchly anti-microwave (except for popcorn and reheating leftovers) -- but I caved last night and "baked" the potatoes in the microwave. (Normally, I just bake extra potatoes for making the soup when I've already got the oven on, but I was hungry and didn't want to wait an hour for the potatoes last night.) The soup turned out just as nicely as ever, so nuking the potatoes is a good option if you want to avoid turning on the oven or want your soup to be ready quickly. Basically, this baked potato soup gives you the flavor of a stuffed baked potato, in a creamy soup form -- perfect for cold days and it makes a great meal when paired with a salad. You can vary the flavors -- substitute bacon for ham, chives for scallions, whatever cheese you like (or have on hand)... heck, you can even add a bit of leftover chili to the soup if like.

Baked Potato Soup
adapted from Cooking Light

4 baked potatoes (2.5 lbs)
2/3 C flour
6 C milk (2%, 1% or skim is fine)
1 C reduced fat shredded cheese (regular cheese is fine, but obviously, the fat-factor goes up)
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 C light sour cream (again, regular if you prefer)
3/4 C chopped scallions (green and white)
3 slices of ham, chopped (or crisp bacon), optional
steamed broccoli, optional

1. If you don't have leftover baked potatoes or haven't made them in advance: Bake potatoes for 1 hour in 400° oven. (Alternatively, microwave on high for about 15 minutes.) Peel potatoes and chop roughly.
2. Measure flour into a large saucepan, and add milk gradually while whisking. When flour and milk are well blended, turn heat to medium and continue to whisk. In about 10 minutes, the mixture will begin to bubble and thicken.
3. Add potatoes, 3/4 C cheese, salt and pepper, mixing until cheese melts. Remove pan from heat.
4. Add sour cream and 1/2 C scallions to the mixture. Return to stovetop and cook on low for 10 minutes.
5. Serve soup in bowls, topping with remaining cheese, scallions, ham (or bacon) and broccoli (if using).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I would like to see is more info on cooking light and cooking light. Any post you make on cooking light in the future will be well received.

8:02 AM  

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