•I needed to make something for the hubs to take to work for a potluck. I made chili the last time, and wanted something just as filling and warm. Soup is the answer! Soup is my thing, I make it everyday at work and thoroughly enjoy it. I have a few standbys, but most of my soups are throw in what we got, be creative (ever had french fry soup?) and taste until perfect, which means no real recipes. Since this is a food blog, ya kinda have to have recipes. I decided on some sort of potato soup and it needed to have bacon and cheese…..baked potato soup! I looked for some recipe ideas on the www and came across a killer recipe at Serna Bakes Simply From Scratch. I tweaked it a little to make it spicier, but kept her secret fried potato skins to top the soup at the end, which is pure genius:) Hold on, here we go!UPDATE: hubby ate 3 bowls before he shared with the co-workers, guess it’s a keeper 6 large russet baking potatoes 12 pieces thick cut bacon-cut into large pieces (I used kitchen shears) 1 large white onion-chopped 3 cloves garlic-minced 1 jalapeño (removed most of the seeds and veins)-minced 4 tbls unsalted butter 1/2 cup all purpose flour 4 cups low sodium s chicken stock 3 cups water 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese 2 cups grated pepper jack cheese 2 bunches green onions-sliced thin 1 cup plain greek yogurt 4 tbls olive oil kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste-it all depends on the chicken stock (I used about 2 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp pepper) serves 8 prep and cooking time-approx 2 hours special equipment-immersion blender*other options below
Pre heat your oven to 400° Scrub potatoes under water and pat dry. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place potatoes on pan and prick each potato a couple times with a fork. Drizzle 2 tbls olive oil over potatoes and rub all over. Sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt and pepper, roll around on sheet pan until all is evenly coated. Pop into the oven for 45 min, you want potatoes to be slightly under cooked. Let cool on counter top for 30 min. *If you don’t have an immersion blender or counter blender for the steps that follow, cook the potatoes longer, like you would a baked potato.
With a sharp knife, cut potatoes in half and peel off the skins, leaving a little potato on the skin. Set aside, something fantastic will be happening later!
Cut potatoes into chunks-set aside.
In a large dutch oven cook 1/2 the bacon over med high heat, remove and let drain on paper towel. Add second batch of bacon, repeat.
Discard all but 2 tbls bacon grease. See all of that flavor!?
Add 2 tbls butter.
Drop in the chopped onions, a pinch of salt and pepper, and let cook over med high heat for 5-7 min until translucent.
Add in the jalapeño and garlic, let cook a min.
Sprinkle in the flour.
Stir in well and let cook for a min or two.
Pour in the chicken stock and water (keep 1 cup water out until you blend it later) make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to get off all of the flavor drippings. Keep stirring so there are no lumps. Bring to a bubble.
Add in potatoes and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring back to a bubble, reduce heat to med low and let simmer 10 min until potatoes are soft.
Ok, here comes the fun part. Meet my early Christmas present from the hubs! I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time and this is her maiden voyage. If you have an immersion blender, blend until smooth, but keep some potatoes a little chunky. Add the extra cup of water to thin out if needed. *You can also use a regular blender, just be very careful, work in batches and only fill halfway holding a towel on top of the lid. BE CAREFUL! *If you don’t have either, use a potato masher to break up the potatoes.
Taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed, but take it easy on the salt, you will be adding cheese and bacon later which are both salty.
Add in half of the cheese, half of the green onions, half of the cooked bacon, and the all of the greek yogurt. Stir in until the cheese melts and the yogurt is well blended.
Remember these guys? Get a frying pan ready with 2 tbls each of butter and olive oil and fry on med high heat until crispy. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Serve soup in big bowls topped with the the remaining cheese, bacon, green onions, and the crispy potato skins♥Enjoy