Beautiful Bacon. Sizzling away, 8 slices of bacon comprise the first step of this lovely soup. Yes, I only have 7 slices in the pan. I only had 7 slices left in the pack and wasn't willing to thaw the package in the freezer just for one slice. (Plus I like to think that using 7 slices instead of 8 is somewhat cheapskate-y of me.)
While the bacon sizzles (and 4 or 5 potatoes cook in the microwave for 12 minutes), melt the butter in a large stock pot (I used my big Rachael Ray pot.) then add garlic. Mix in the flour. Then SLOWLY add milk, whisking to help eliminate lumps. Next, add in some chicken stock and KEEP WHISKING. You want the soup to be super smooth. This is the most labor-intensive step of this soup. Good news, though: once this step is done, your soup is almost done. When the soup is nicely smooth and thickening, the potatoes should be finished and ready to move on to the next step.
Cut open the potatoes and scoop the insides into the soup. (I LOVE that I don't have to peel the potatoes for this soup.) Mash the potatoes a bit with a wooden spoon. Stir in some cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, and some of that yummy bacon.
To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with more sour cream, green onions, cheddar, and bacon. Or, if you are like my kids and have hang-ups about most of those items, just bacon. (That reminds me, don't tell my Dianna that there is cheese in here. She won't touch it if she knows, and she currently thinks I make "famous" potato soup. I'd like to keep up the delusion that I'm a good cook. And don't tell Jarod either, because he currently has a thing about "cooked" cheese. If it's melty, he doesn't like it, apparently. If we could just keep this between us, that would be great. Thanks a heap.)
This recipe is amazing, and the girls at http://www.ourbestbites.com/ has certainly helped to make it not-so-bad-for-you. I love their lower-fat twist to the soup. I must admit that I used 2% milk not skim and I used full-fat sour cream instead of low-fat, because that's how I roll. (Really, I needed to buy a big container of sour cream to help make several recipes and the only big container was the regular version.)
8 slices of bacon, divided
4 or 5 potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 c. flour
4 1/2 c. milk
1 14 oz. can of chicken broth
2 c. grated cheddar (I used sharp.), divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 c. sour cream, divided
1/2 c. chopped green onions, divided
Cook 8 slices of bacon. Crumble and set aside.
Wash the potatoes well, then poke them several times with a fork. Microwave for 12 minutes, or until cooked through. (12 minutes is perfect in my microwave.)
In a large pot, melt the butter, then add the garlic. Cook for several minutes, then add the flour, stirring well to combine.
Stir in the milk slowly, whisking constantly to make smooth. Add the chicken broth and whisk until completely smooth.
Once the soup is smooth and beginning to thicken, turn the heat down. Cut open the potatoes and use a spoon to scoop out the innards. Use a wooden spoon to smash the potatoes a good bit. Add 1 1/2 c. cheese, 3/4 c. sour cream, 1/4 c. green onions, and 4 slices of crumbled bacon.
That's it! The soup is ready to serve! Garnish with more cheese, sour cream, bacon, and green onions.
Let's talk price:
bacon - purchased at Sam's for $13.48 for 3 1/2 lbs. - $2.25
4-5 potatoes - purchased at Sam's for $3.98 for 10 lbs. - $1
2-3 cloves of garlic - purchased at Sam's for $4.72 for 48 oz. - $.10
1/2 c. flour - purchased at Sam's for $7.28 for 25 lbs. - $.05
4 1/2 c. milk - purchased at Sam's for $3.89 for 1 gal. - $1.09
14 oz. chicken broth - purchased at Publix on BOGO sale $2.59 for 2 (32 oz.) boxes - $.65
2 c. grated cheddar - purchased at Sam's for $3.98 for 2 lb. - $1.00
salt - $0.00
pepper - $.02 est.
1 1/2 c. sour cream - purchased at Publix for $2.59 for 24 oz. - $.86
green onions - purchased at Publix for $.60 for a bunch - $.08
Bread from the Publix bakery, because I just couldn't resist - $2.99
Tortilla chips - leftovers from lunch at Red Robin
Total cost for this meal: $10.09
We have enough leftovers to have a little snack tomorrow afternoon. Or when up at 2:00 am with a hungry baby. Plus there's enough bread for another 2 or 3 soup meals.