At Poppy’s house we eat soup all year round, at least twice a week. But there are days, like today, where the temperature won’t move up to freezing and will end in single digits. This type of weather doesn’t just suggest a hot hearty soup, it demands it!
This is Poppy’s version of “Baked Potato Soup.” No, you don’t have to bake the potatoes. This soup just contains all the good stuff you might use to top a baked potato (minus the sour cream and butter). It’s easy, but does take a little time. Turn on some good music, pour yourself a glass of wine and lets get cooking.
- 48 ozs. of low-sodium chicken broth
- 6-7 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
- 6-7 ozs. of grated sharp cheddar
- 3/4’s of a large sweet onion
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1/4 pint cream
- 3-4 dashes of Frank’s hot sauce
- 4-5 slices crumbled peppered bacon
- Bunch of green onions
- Coarse ground black pepper to taste
I start by cooking the bacon. My preferred method is baking it in the oven, on a cookie sheet lined with foil. This makes the clean up incredibly easy and yields evenly cooked bacon. I set my convection oven at 350°, cook for 10 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Remove the bacon, sandwich it between several paper towels to soak up any excess grease then set aside.
While the bacon is cooking, peel and dice 6-7 Yukon Gold potatoes or the equivalent. Toss the taters into the chicken broth and start them cooking. Dice the celery and onion and sauté in a mix of EVOO and butter, about two tablespoons apiece. Cook the onion celery mixture until the onions are translucent. Add the onion-celery mix to the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are tender.
I like my potato soup a little creamy and a little chunky. Tonight I used an immersion blender until I got that right balance (you can add the cream before or after blending). Once you have achieved the right balance between creamy and chunky add 3-4 slices of crumbled bacon, reserving some for topping. Same with the grated sharp cheddar. Add 5-6 ozs. of sharp cheddar, reserving some for topping. Toss in 3-4 dashes of hot sauce (trust Poppy, this will not burn your mouth, it just ups the flavor). Add at least a teaspoon of coarse black pepper (I add more).
Simmer for a few minutes to let all the ingredients and flavors become acquainted with each other, fill your soup bowls then top with a hefty pinch of crumbled bacon, grated cheddar and green onions … ahhh, heaven!