Comfort in a Bowl

Baked potato soup

Serves 4-6

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 90 minutes

7 to 8 medium-size Yukon
Gold potatoes

1 pound bacon, 8-10 thick-cut strips, roughly chopped (reserve 1/2 cup
for garnish)

1 tablespoon butter  

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 

2 ribs celery

2 cloves garlic, chopped 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup flour 

4 cups chicken stock 

2 cups heavy cream

Kosher salt and pepper to taste 

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for garnish)

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill  

1/2 cup diced green onions

1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake potatoes uncovered in a 9-by-13-inch pan with 1/4 cup water for 1 hour. Remove, and allow to cool. In a heavy-bottom soup pot, cook chopped bacon in butter over medium heat until crisp and golden brown. Remove bacon, and cook onion and celery in the fat. Add garlic, sauté 1 minute, then add flour. Whisk to create a roux. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, and slowly add stock and cream to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk until it begins to slightly thicken. Roughly chop the potatoes, skin included, and add to the creamy soup. Simmer soup 15 to 20 minutes, and add bacon, cheese, and dill. Stir until cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning, and serve by garnishing with bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, dill, green onions, and sour cream.

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