February 2, 2007

No Bake Baked Potato Soup

Or you can just call it, that really yummy potato soup. :)

This fantastic potato soup recipe of mine is a steal from Paula Dean's Shrimp and Potato Soup. Essentially, it's her potato soup but hold the shrimps. I added a few things and set up a topping station and off we go with the baked potato part of the soup.

The amount of stuff going into the soup really more of a guideline than a science. You can adjust the entire recipe up and down the block and gets the same fantastic creamy tastiness. So, here it is, my adaptation of the whole thing on the "a dash of this - a pinch of that" scale.

That Really Yummy Potato Soup
This recipe is already halved of Paula's, it'd still make plenty for 4 or even 6.

The Soup
2 tablespoons or so butter
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced about the same size as the onion -- Or in my case, I sliced up a handful of baby carrots I have on hand.
1 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 medium/large russet potatoes, cubed -- You can peel them if you'd like. I left the skin on because I was lazy but it also makes the soup look rustic.
2 cups or so milk of any kind whole, reduced fat (2 percent) or low fat (1 percent)
1 vegetable or chicken bullion cube, dissolved in 1/2 cup hot milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
Salt and pepper
Finally, my Rachael Ray-influenced secret ingredient,
McCormick's Montreal Grill Seasoning and nutmeg.

The Topping
Sky's the limit here! Whatever you'd like you can top the soup with. Chopped up cooked bacon. Cubed ham. Chopped green onion. Shredded Cheddar cheese. French fried onion. Hot sauce. Whatever you'd like! As Nhienners discovered today that both Trader Joe's Parmesan Cheese Crisps and Parmesan Garlic Pita Chips are fantastic with the Soup.

Although I am pondering mixing the bacon/ham right into the soup. YOU can surely do that if you'd like!

1. M
elt the butter and saute the onion and carrots until both are slightly tender.

2. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Add the potatoes, milk, and dissolved bouillon cube. Milk should just barely cover the potatoes. If the 2 cups aren't enough, you can add more milk. (And if you're out of milk, like me the other day, add water). Stir really well, scraping up the bottom of the pot.

3. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are very soft and some of them have begun to dissolve into mush. Stir occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn. I just let them bubble a bit. If you're on a tight schedule, I'd put the lid on it as well.

4. Stir in the half-and-half for creaminess. Add more or less, however you'd like it.

5. Season with Grill Seasoning, salt and pepper. (And because it's me, a little sugar too to mesh the flavors together.) Add just a pinch of nutmeg to give it that "Hmm...what's that?" flavor. Be VERY careful of the nutmeg though, a little bit goes a really long way.

6. Serve while hot. Top with whatever you want!

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