Finding recipes to try often can be the hardest thing about meal preparation each week. And so we noticed in our pantry a growing abundance of potatoes off-loaded on us from local farmers markets.
One of my favorite comfort foods is potato soup, so we searched for a recipe that allowed us to cater to my likes and use up some of our potato surplus at the same time. We found this Cooking Light recipe for Baked Potato Soup.
The recipe takes a bit of advanced planning, though. To start, you need to take 2 1/2 pounds of baking potatoes, fork them to allow air to escape and bake them in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour. Some of our potatoes didn't get quite done; they could have used an extra five or 10 minutes, but it really depends on the size of the potatoes you use.
After they're done, take them out and let them cool for a bit. When they've cooled considerably, peel them and mash them. I used the side of a potato masher so that the potatoes were not completed mashed but were a bit chunky instead.
In a Dutch oven, mix milk and flour and blend well. Cover over medium heat until the mixture is thickened. Then add the mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. After the cheese has melted, remove from heat.
Add some green onions, and cook over low heat until thouroughly heated. (We also cooked some onions and garlic in a bit of butter and added that to the mixture. For seasonings, we added some nutmeg, rosemary and thyme. We weren't sure the recipe as is would have enough flavor for us.)
We served in bowls with some fresh ground cracked black pepper, some more green onions and some cut-up bacon.
The serving size was especially filling. Also, we were really happy with our decision to modify during the preparation and include some of the seasonings and onions; they all helped with the overall flavor. For me, however, the soup had a very dense dairy taste. It wasn't bad, but I just felt we could have left out some of the sour cream and still been fine. It's definitely a meal we'll keep in our hats as the temperature starts to go down.