Saturday, February 11, 2012

#51 New Recipes: Lightened Loaded Potato Soup

My first soup recipe on my quest to make 30 new recipes! This one was a particularly big deal for me because, not only was it my first soup recipe since I started the Day Zero project, but I actually cannot remember the last time I tried to make soup that didn't come from a Ramen package or a Campbell's can.

Also, I love potatoes and I was excited to make them in a new way, since I've never made potato soup before. The fact that this soup was advertised as being "lightened" (no heavy cream!) just made it more appealing to me. In case you look at my pictures and think "Holy crow that's a lot of soup!" just know that I doubled the recipe because I was making it for a larger group of people.

 Loaded Potato Soup
Yield: 4 servings
From Cooking Light October 2010

  • 4  (6-ounce) red potatoes
  • 2  teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2  cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/4  cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 3  tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 1/4  cup  reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 3  bacon slices, halved
  • 1/3  cup  shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4  teaspoons thinly sliced green onions
1. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly. I took tender to mean slightly mushy when I squeezed them. Smaller potatoes were ready sooner than the larger ones, and I just kept putting the larger ones back in until they were tender enough for me.
2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in measuring cup; add to pan then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often, being careful to not let the milk boil over. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.

It looked a little lumpy, which I thought was rather odd, but I decided it must be the onions and hoped it wasn't the flour.
3. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.

4. Scoop potato into soup and discard potato skins. 
 The potato scoops out easily, in lumps. You barely need to mash it in the next step, although I'd still recommend it unless you want VERY lumpy soup, because it's already pretty well cooked.
5. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup using a potato masher. 
6. Ladle soup into four bowls and top with cheese, green onions, and bacon.

About halfway through the recipe I started getting very worried about the little lumps, thinking that perhaps I hadn't dissolved the flour in the milk enough before adding it to the pot, but the end product ended up being delicious and had a wonderful texture. No flour bombs at all! I received a lot of compliments and reassurances from my taste-testing friends, which made me feel better as well. 

Overall, very happy with this experiment and I plan on making more soon!

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