Loaded “Baked Potato” Soup

 Loaded “Baked Potato” Soup

It’s still winter. Despite a few days of teasing here and there the cold weather is prominent and spring is still a month away. For my family this means soup – it’s kind of a winter staple around here.

Now that we’ve moved to New York my hubby’s office is only a five minute walk away which means he comes home for lunch almost every day. And, I’m loving it. We generally like to keep things pretty simple but soup and grilled cheese are pretty much a must. The thing I love about soup is that it keeps on giving – you make the recipe once and you can have it for lunch again later in the week.

James isn’t a big fan of potatoes, unless they’re in the form of french fries or mashed potatoes (drenched in gravy, of course), so I don’t make baked potatoes very much at all. Baked potatoes are one of my favourite ways to eat potatoes but for the potato-averted they seem to be a bit of a nightmare since they’re so full of… potato. Because of this, I was pleasantly surprised when James loved this soup. I think the number one reason is because the soup is smooth and silky – no bland chunks of potato to be found. Add some crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese and chives and you have a baked-potato-lovers dream that’s fit for non-potato-lovers too.

Loaded “Baked Potato” Soup
 
Makes: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 strips bacon, diced
  • 1.5 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • grated cheddar cheese and chopped chives, to serve
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain. Set aside for later.
  2. Cook leeks in a couple tablespoons of the bacon grease until soft. Add potatoes, stock and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover loosely and simmer 15-20 minutes or until potatoes mash easily with a fork. Remove the sprigs of thyme and puree the soup with a handheld blender, food processor or blender. Strain through fine mesh sieve to ensure smoothness, if desired. Pour back into pot, add sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Heat over medium heat until warm; do not boil.
  3. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with cooked bacon, cheddar cheese and chives.

Adapted from Fresh with Anna Olson.