Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Baked Potato Soup

When this soup debuted in Cooking Light magazine a few years ago, it caused quite a commotion. People couldn't decide if it really was good. And with the commonality of low-carb diets, a loaded baked potato soup can't really be considered healthy. I was one of the first to make this soup, and I remember reading through the ingredients the first time around and wondering why they used 6 cups of milk as the base to this soup. Surely there was something more flavorful that could be used? Maybe a little chicken broth or even some buttermilk to perk it up. I've played with it on and off over the last several years, and this is easily one of our favorite soups.

Although this time I made it with plain old russet potatoes, my favorite potatoes to use are red skinned potatoes- and then I leave the skins on half of them, and leave that in the soup. That adds so much more character, plus a little more texture. I have successfully made this soup without the bacon even as a meatless alternative, and it's just as good then. I consistently use half buttermilk/half milk when making this, and an absolute must for me here is Penzey's Fox Point Seasoning. If I don't have Fox Point, I can't make this soup. The recipe in my Recipe Trove is my modified version of Baked Potato Soup. This soup cooks up quickly, and I found that it keeps quite nicely in a crock-pot set to low for a few hours, so you can make it ahead of time if you need to. Leftovers (if there are any) do not freeze very well though, so you're better off planning to eat up the leftovers in a few days.

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