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Potato Soup for Autumn Chills

Venn Crawford

Last week, I gave you my chicken tortilla soup recipe. This week I bring you my baked potato soup, another cold weather favorite. This recipe is great for lazy weekend mornings when it’s too cold to go outside – or anytime you need some warm comfort food.

1 package bacon, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
2 leeks, chopped (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 potatoes
4 cups of chicken broth
3 tbsp butter
1 cup heavy cream (1 16oz carton)
¼ cup flour
1 tsp tarragon
3 tsp cilantro
2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a large pot – we’ll use the same pot for the soup. Once crispy, remove the bacon and set it aside on a paper-towel-lined plate to soak up the grease. Pour the bacon grease out into a separate container, leaving just enough in the pot to still coat the bottom.

While the bacon is cooking, peel your potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes.

Cook your onion and leeks in the bacon grease until it’s translucent, then add the garlic and cook two more minutes, stirring occasionally. The leeks are a bit untraditional in potato soup, but they add some extra texture and meatiness to it. Add your potatoes and toss them until they are coated with bacon grease on each side – if there’s not enough in the pot, add some more from what you set aside. Season potatoes with white pepper and cayenne, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add your bacon back in, and pour chicken broth over the potatoes until it just covers them. Cover the pot and simmer until your potatoes are fork-tender.

While the potatoes simmer, melt your butter in another pan and whisk in the flour. Cook for two minutes while stirring constantly. Then, add in your cream, cilantro, and tarragon. Bring this to a boil while stirring constantly – it will suddenly thicken up, usually within a few minutes. Once this happens, start stirring it into the soup.

Take 3 cups of your soup out of the pot and puree it in a blender, then add it back in. If the soup is too thick, repeat this step until you’re satisfied with the consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add more white pepper and cayenne if desired.

To serve, top with sour cream, cheddar, bacon, and cilantro. You can substitute green onions for cilantro if desired. Toast some baguette slices and dip them into the soup for extra deliciousness.

Craving something different? Find more recipes here.

by Venn Crawford

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