Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Left-Over Wednesdays

Ha! I never thought I would do a weekly column thingy on my blog, but I have decided to do a weekly recipe. I will post on Wednesdays the recipe that I cooked the night before at College Group...after all, Tuesday nights are the real test of my culinary skills. If I pass approval by 20 or so college students, then it's a good recipe! ;) Thus the name, "Left-Over Wednesdays"!

My first post will be the Baked Potato Soup we made last night. This is not my own recipe, but one I found on America's Test Kitchen's website. That, by the way, is a great kitchen resource website! They have reviews on equipment, taste tests and the test the heck out of any recipe they publish. Tried and true, if you will. Anyway, here it is:

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Reserving some of the potatoes in step 3 results in a chunkier soup. For a smooth soup, puree all the potatoes.
Serves 8

8 ounces bacon , chopped
3 pounds russet potatoes , scrubbed
1 large onion , chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese , plus additional for garnish
1 cup sour cream , plus additional for garnish
ground black pepper
3 scallions , sliced thin

1. Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. While bacon is cooking, use vegetable peeler to remove wide strips of potato peel; reserve peels. Cut peeled potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towels. Add reserved potato skins to bacon fat in pot and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer potato skins to plate with bacon.
2. Add onion to fat remaining in pot and cook over medium heat until golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and flour and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in broth and cream, stir in thyme and potatoes, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes.
3. Discard thyme and transfer 2 cups cooked potatoes to bowl. Puree remaining soup in batches in blender until smooth. Return to pot and warm over medium-high heat. Off heat, stir in cheese until melted, then whisk in sour cream. Return reserved potatoes to pot and season soup with pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, garnishing with bacon, fried potato skins, scallions, cheese, and sour cream.
Reheating Leftovers: To reheat leftover portions of our Loaded Baked Potato Soup, gently warm the soup in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Do not let the soup boil, which will cause the sour cream to separate.

My fav part of this recipe is the potato skins that you fry in the bacon grease! However, when Scott was cooking this last night, he was finishing the skins in the cast iron skillet while the soup was progressing in the large cast iron pot. he had turned the heat up to high on the big pot (he thought) while keeping the heat down some on the skins...he was wondering why the soup wasn't boiling yet, when the potato skins started burning, and actually caught on fire! Needless to say, he had switched the burners and we had no potato skins for our soup...but thats ok, it still was very good! (once the house aired out from the smoke!)
We had a lot of left-overs, so I will try freezing it. I'll let you know how that works! We tripled the recipe, but next time I will probably just double it. A little fills you up in no time!

** Scottie managed to make the blender explode...not reccommended, as potato soup is akin to glue when it's cooled and dried!

***And I stole these pics from Rachel, who faithfully documents via photograph, all our fun times!. Check her photography website out!


MaryMartha said...

yeah! I love new recipes. I love your weekly recipe idea :)
I do love that cooking magazine; although I haven't joined the online club yet.
I recently got a killer chocolate chip cookie recipe from there :) They are THE BEST!

Jaci Spain said...

This looks like a great recipe and I love loaded potato soup. I am definitely trying it:) I'll let you know how it turns out...

Ann Marie said...

oh good im glad yall will try it! just dont burn the potato skins or make your blender explode! :)