Monday, January 10, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Crispy Potato Hash Browns

Since it's snowing in Georgia (Who knew?!? I thought it was supposed to be hot in the south, but apparently I'm seriously wrong), we decided tonight would be a good night for some comforting soup. So, loaded baked potato soup it is. It's nothing too fancy, but filling and delicious. I add some green onion, chopped bacon, grated cheddar, and crispy hashbrowns to make it a little more hearty. Enjoy :)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Crispy Potato Hash Browns

For the Soup:
10 potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/2C AP flour
6C Whole Milk
2C Heavy Cream
1/2C Sour Cream
1/2C Green Onion, Chopped
1/2C White Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
12 Strips Bacon, Chopped
1/2t Paprika
3T Butter
Salt & Pepper

1. Peel and chop 8 potatoes, then place them in a microwavable glass bowl and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until soft. With the other 2 potatoes, peel, chop, and cut into small cubes. Put the small cubes into a bowl with water and let soak while making the soup base.
2. Bring a large pot up to high heat. Meanwhile, cut the bacon in to cubes and then sautee the bacon until cooked and crispy. Drain the bacon on to a paper towel, leaving the bacon grease in the pot. Chop the green onions into small rounds, and toss into the grease. Sautee until softened. Bring the heat down to medium and add the flour, whisking until incorporated. Slowly add in milk & heavy cream, until thick and smooth. Bring this soup base to a boil, and then simmer for roughly 10 minutes (or until thickened).
3. Stir in the cooked potatoes and chopped bacon (reserving about 4 slices of bacon for topping), and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and half of the cheese. Lastly season with salt & pepper. Let the soup simmer on low until the crispy potatoes are done.
4.  Drain the potatoes that have been soaking in water and pat dry. Melt the butter in a pan and bring up to a medium-high heat. Crisp up the potatoes (with salt, pepper, & paprika) until tender on the inside and brown & crispy on the outside, roughly 15-20 minutes. Remove crispy hash browns and drain on a paper towel.
4. Assemble the bowls by ladling some soup, then top it with cheese, chopped bacon, and crispy hash browns.
5. Serve with Garlic Bread.

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