I have been under the weather for the last few days fighting a killer cold. I hate it when I am stuck in bed. I mean you can only watch so much food tv and Lifetime movies without feeling like you are going to lose your mind! I finally felt well enough to get up and cook last night and of course the one thing I wanted to make was a nice big bowl of soup.
A while back I found a recipe for the loaded potato soup they serve at the Carnation Cafe in Disney World. It sounded wonderful but called for a whole quart of heavy whipping cream!! Oh my clogged arteries!! I knew I needed to lighten it up a bit so I switched out some chicken stock for some of the whipping cream and half and half for the rest. Still not the healthiest it could be I guess, but I felt much better about eating this version. Not meaning to take anything away from the original recipe. I am sure it is amazing!
There is also another bonus to this recipe besides it being lightened up a bit. There is a fabulous, and I mean FABULOUS, giveaway going on over at Tidy Mom so “Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid,Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset”.
Loaded Potato Soup
1 pound of bacon, chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
2 large stalks of celery, diced
2 small or 1 large carrot, diced
4 large Russet potatoes , peeled and diced small (about 1/4 inch)
4 medium red skinned potatoes, diced small
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2 cups half and half
fresh chives, chopped (optional)
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
In a 6 to 8 quart bacon, over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel.
In the bacon fat cook the onions, celery, and carrots until the onions are translucent. about 5 to 7 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whisk in flour and stir constantly. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add chicken stock and half of the cooked bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring soup to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Mash some of the potatoes for a creamier texture and add the half and half. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Adjust the thickness by adding more stock if necessary to reach a creamy consistency. Ladle into shallow bowls and top with your choice of garnish.