Monday, October 26, 2009

"They call me tater salad."

I need to stop cooking like this. I'm not going to have any clothes that fit by the time Thanksgiving rolls around (see what I did there?). I can't help it though. Fall makes me want to cook. Christmas may be the time of year for baking, but fall is soup season. Here's another one of my favorites, and guess what, it has pork products and potatoes! Big shocker.

Baked Potato Soup
serves an army
  • 1 pound of bacon, snipped into bite-sized pieces with kitchen scissors (Use the good stuff, go ahead, you deserve it.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (Baseball-sized is good.)
  • 2 cups carrots, diced (Look, it's a vegetable!)
  • 5 pounds of potatoes, diced (You can feel healthier and leave the skin on, or go completely unhealthy and peel them first.)
  • 1 T dried chives (If you have 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives, that's fine, too.)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 to 2 cups milk
  • Sour cream to garnish, if you need a little extra fat
Get out your big pot. We're cooking for an army here, there's at least 10 servings in this recipe. Saute the chopped bacon on medium heat until it starts to render its fat.

Add the onion and carrot, and cook until the onion is translucent and the bacon has given off all it's yummy fat. At this point, you can drain off most of the oil, but what's the fun in that? I'm sure cardiologists everywhere are cringing, but bacon fat makes me happy.

Add your potatoes and dried chives, and stir to coat every last piece with goodness. (If you are using fresh chives add them with the cheese so they don't get too nasty.)

Add enough water to cover everything. You can use chicken stock if you'd like, but definitely use low sodium or no salt added chicken stock. Bacon is plenty salty. Taste the broth to see if you need salt or pepper. I always add tons of pepper- I love a peppery potato soup!

After you've adjusted the seasoning, cover it with a lid, and let it cook on medium until the potatoes are starting to fall apart. It's probably going to take about 20 minutes, depending on how big you've diced your potatoes.

Right before serving, add the cheese and stir until it has melted completely. This is when you add the milk. If your soup is too thick, add more milk; if it's just fine, add less milk. Your soup will thicken as it stands, so err on the side of thin rather than thick.

If you've had a really rough day, serve it with a dollop of sour cream and more bacon on top. In my opinion either naked or dressed, this soup is a winner!

I know the title has little to do with the actual post, but it's one of my favorites clips by Ron White.

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