Friday, May 17, 2013

Baked Potato Soup: The Fast and Easy Way

This is a post that reveals just how little it takes to make me happy.
First of all, let me say that my kids love baked potato soup. They love it in a passionate way that is not normal to me. And every time I make it, I marvel over their excitement about it. The bowls (plural) each of them will consume in one sitting is crazy. They beg me to make it, but I've always been hesitant to do so because it just takes so dang long to peel and dice all the potatoes needed like my recipe called for. But I felt bad about not making it more often because they do love it so much.
So the other day I had an epiphany. If peeling and dicing and pre-cooking the potatoes is the problem, was there a way around that? I thought of first baking the potatoes because if it's called BAKED potato soup wouldn't that make sense??
This was just crazy enough to actually work.
So, as you can see, I baked the potatoes. (8 of them) I just poked holes in them, laid them out on a foil-covered cookie sheet, didn't even wrap them in aluminum foil (I'm totally living crazy here) and cooked them at 500 for one hour. (This photo was taken after they came out of the oven and I had cut them open. I did not cook them like that.)
Then I sauteed some onion in butter and flour on medium heat. (Actual measurements are below)

Then I added milk and half and half and chicken broth and gave it a good stir.
Then it was time for the potatoes. My three youngest helped me squeeze the potatoes into the pot and thought it was great fun. I then used a potato masher to get them less chunky.

Then I served the potato soup with bacon bits and cheese. You could add other toppings your family likes but this is how mine want it. They ate multiple bowls of this stuff just the same way they did when I peeled and diced the potatoes, and it was SO much faster and easier to make. The full recipe is below and I'm telling you, this is the way to go.
This is one soup we eat all year long and don't just limit to fall and winter. Try it at your house. Your kids might not be as passionate about it as mine, but I bet they will like it.
Baked Potato Soup (The Fast and Easy Way)
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 bag frozen chopped onions*
1 box chicken broth
8 baked potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
Melt butter in dutch oven over low heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in onion, cook for 4 minutes or until tender. Add chicken broth. Stir. Simmer for about ten minutes. Add potatoes, salt and pepper, then milk and half and half. Use masher to break up potatoes. Heat through until thickened and ready to serve (20-30 minutes), stirring often so nothing sticks to the bottom.
Serve with toppings.
*A word about frozen chopped onions. They are the timesaver of all time savers. I keep these as a staple in my freezer at all times. They get added to the grocery list like milk or detergent or sugar. They are that necessary to have on hand. They will save you so much time in so many ways. You can find them in the freezer section near all the other frozen veggies, just sitting there like the broccoli and the okra and the squash, not looking at all like the amazing time-saving elements they actually are. I love them because they are humble like that and because I very rarely have to chop onions anymore. This is life changing and yet another indication of just how little it takes to make me happy.
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.....Elizabeth..... Polka Dot Skies said...

This looks fabulous! We will try it soon!

Carla said...

My family won't eat onions...not big ones, not small ones, not any ones. They will tolerate it in recipes only if the onions are large enough for them to pick out. I have to put in large rings for flavor and then remove them. Can this be done with the soup for flavoring purposes only or would it be necessary to put diced onions?

Carla White said...

Hi Marybeth! Thank you so much for this recipe, we love this soup but it is time consuming. I do have three quick questions. First, I have the same question as the above poster about the onions...can they be used for flavor and removed? Second, I have two boxes of chicken broth at home and I don't know which is the best to use. One is 48 ounces and the other is 32 ounces. Third, does this make a lot of soup or would the recipe need to be doubled for more than a few bowls? Thank you for your time and willingness to share. I don't always get to post but I am always reading your blog!

Marybeth Whalen said...

1. No idea about the onions. I say try it and see. You could also add onion powder in place of the onions?

2. 32 oz chicken stock

3. As for the size of the recipe it feeds my family of 8 with a bit of leftovers.

Thanks for reading guys! Hope the recipe works out!