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Friday, November 11, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

I have never been able to make a really good potato soup until now. This recipe that I found on Foodie with Family is great and I thought pretty easy. What I thought really put this over the top was the Greek yogurt green onion mixture. Mixed into the soup was so good. It gave it a tangy, onion yumminess to go with the bacon bits and cheese. I enjoyed this soup for a couple of dinners and several lunches. I will be making this again.

Baked Potato Soup
adapted from Foodie with Family

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12 one cup servings, 6 WW points per serving

Soup ingredients:

12 large baked potatoes, cooled (*see instructions below for directions on how to bake potatoes)
4 tablespoons butter, divided
6 tablespoons flour
1 onion, chopped finely
4 cups skim milk
6 cups chicken broth
2/3 cups Weight Watchers shredded Mexican cheese
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
optional: up to one cup of instant mashed potato flakes to thicken soup

Creamy onion topping

2 cups Greek yogurt
1 bunch green onions (scallions), cleaned, trimmed of roots and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt

In a bowl mix together the yogurt, green onions and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use.

To Bake Potatoes:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Gently scrub potatoes under cool running water to remove any dirt. Pat the potatoes dry on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. They are done when they yield to gentle pressure when you squeeze them. (Wear an oven mitt when squeezing them! ) When they are done, transfer to a rack on your counter to cool. Once cool peel off the skins and smash the potatoes in a large bowl and set aside.

In a skillet melt one tablespoon butter and cook the onions until soft. Add in the rest of the three tablespoons of butter. Once melted sprinkle the flour over the onions and butter and whisk until smooth. Turn the heat back to medium. Although at first the fat and flour will seem to seize up it will loosen and become liquid again fairly quickly. Once it returns to a liquid state and begins bubbling stir constantly and cook for 1 minute. This is your roux, or your thickener, for the soup. Whisk all of the milk into the roux and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently until thickened. To check whether your base has thickened enough dip a soup or wooden spoon into it and remove it. If it is still thin, simmer a little while longer or until it does coat a spoon.

Whisk the 6 cups of chicken stock into the thickened milk base and then stir all of the smashed potato innards into the soup. With the pot over medium heat, stir frequently to prevent scorching. You don’t need to boil the soup; you just need to get it steaming hot. When it is steaming check the consistency. If it is not thick enough for your liking, sprinkle two tablespoons of instant potato flakes over the top of the soup and stir in quickly. Wait a couple minutes and check the consistency of the soup again. You can continue adding potato flakes until it is as thick as you like it. We like our soup quite thick, so I have added as much as 1 cup of flakes before. Make sure, though, to wait a couple of minutes between additions as it takes a little while for potato flakes to reach full thickening power. Stir in the cheese until it is completely melted. Adjust flavors with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Remove the soup pot from the heat and serve immediately with Creamy Onion Topping, the bacon pieces, sliced green onions and shredded cheese.

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