Monday, November 11, 2013

Loaded Cheesy Potato Soup

Well, it's official: No matter how much I tried to avoid it, I can no longer deny that I have my first cold of the season. Scratchy throat, runny nose, general feeling of name it, I've got it. Just one of the joys of having kids: I seem to be susceptible to every germ my sweet little petri dishes bring in to the house.

Thankfully, we live in a world where meals like this creamy, luxurious, flavorful, drool-worthy cheesy potato soup exist. Although this soup isn't a magical cure-all, its smooth texture is perfect for soothing a scratchy throat -- and for soothing the soul.

Recently one of my co-workers was talking about her craving for cheesy potato soup -- a craving that was instantly passed along to me the second I heard her mention it. She was kind enough to print out a copy of this recipe for me when she found it online, and we both made it that very weekend -- and we (and our families) absolutely loved it. 

This soup is the height of comfort food. The texture is so velvety and creamy, which contrasts nicely with the toppings, and it's incredibly flavorful. And it's loaded with cheese and bacon, so really, how could it possibly be anything other than delicious? A lot of times the leftovers of soups like this get thick and gluey, but I'm happy to report that wasn't the case with this one. I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day, and they were just as good as (if not better than) the night before. 

What I'm saying is, this is basically the ultimate cheesy potato soup. Please, please try it -- you'll love it!

Loaded Cheesy Potato Soup
adapted from Food Network

6 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
1 cup whole milk
One 12-ounce bottle light-bodied beer
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar (about 8 ounces)
Dash hot sauce
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Sour cream, for topping
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions, for topping
1. Add the bacon to a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook until browned and crisp; remove to paper towels to drain, reserving the drippings. 
2. Add the butter to the bacon drippings in the pot. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the saucepan to toast the flour, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the stock, and then the milk and beer. Stir in the potatoes and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and, using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to low heat. Add 1 cup of the cheddar, a handful at a time, stirring until melted and smooth after each addition. Add additional chicken stock if necessary to adjust the consistency. Sprinkle with hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Divide the soup among bowls and top with the remaining cheddar, sour cream, the reserved bacon, and green onions or chives.

1 comment:

CJ Huang said...

Now you've passed this craving on to me! :)