What’s Cookin’ – Baked Potato Soup

March – in like a lion, out like a lamb.  Or something like that.  March has a way of teasing us with nice days to let us know that Spring is right around the corner.  March also has a way of reminding us that Winter is not yet over.

Our weather this past weekend reminded us that we have a few weeks of Winter left, so I made another batch of soup from a recipe that I cut out of our local newspaper (I made a few changes which are reflected in the version below).

The ingredients.

Note on the potatoes – make sure you use good, baking style potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds.  This is not a good recipe to use red potatoes.  The original recipe said to use 5 large potatoes.  I never know how much that is, and I had smaller potatoes.  I used 2 pounds of potatoes which was 7 medium potatoes.

Note on crème fraîche – crème fraîche is French style cultured cream that you can usually find in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store.  Sour cream is a good substitute or you can make your own crème fraîche by mixing 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream with 1 TB buttermilk and allowing it to sit in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Sauté onions and bacon in a large pot until onions are translucent and the bacon is crispy.  Add butter and allow to melt.  Add flour and cook until bubbly about 1 to 2 minutes.

While the onions and bacon are cooking, mash the potatoes.

I wanted a creamier soup, so I put the potatoes through a ricer.  You can also mash coarsely for a more rustic soup.

Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture stirring constantly with a whisk.  Allow this mixture to return to a slow boil, stirring often to ensure that it doesn’t stick or burn.  You want to cook it at this stage until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.  This may take several minutes.  Be patient – you don’t want to burn it at this point.

Add the potatoes and cheese and stir until cheese is melted.  This will only take a minute or two.

Add the crème fraîche, salt to taste, pepper, and 1/2 of the green onions.  Allow to cook over low heat for 10 minutes or so.  Do not bring to a boil.

Serve with additional cheese and green onions.


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