It's been mighty cold, here in Ontario, the last few days. So cold that the kids have been staying in for recess and our furnace has been on pretty much non stop. We are doing everything to stay warm, but this cold is so bone chilling, it's hard. When blankets and fuzzy socks aren't enough, I turn to soup. It warms you up from the inside and makes you actually enjoy the weather outside, LOL. Potato soup has always been one of the kids favourite soups, so when I had some leftover baked potatoes in the fridge, I thought I'd turn them into a comforting soup, to banish the chill.
When Hubby and I have baked potatoes, we go all out. Cheese, sour cream, butter, chives and bacon; that's my idea of a baked potato. So, I wanted to incorporate those flavours into our soup. I also reduced the fat in here, by using mostly chicken stock, with a bit of milk. With all the yummy add ins and creamy potatoes, it's hard to notice that this is mostly a stock based soup, LOL.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1 large leek, chopped and rinsed clean of grit
4 C chicken stock
2 C milk
4 large baked potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 1/2 C shredded sharp Cheddar, divided
1 C sour cream
1/4 C chives, chopped
1 tsp coarse sea salt
fresh ground pepper
chives to garnish
In a large soup pot, heat oil and butter, until butter starts to sizzle. Add in leeks and cook over med-low heat, until they begin to brown slightly. Add in chicken stock and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add in baked potatoes and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. At this point, if you like a smooth soup, take and immersion blender and puree potatoes into the stock and cream mixture. If you like a chunkier soup, using a slotted spoon, remove 3/4 of the potatoes and mash; adding them back to the soup, once mashed.
Stir in 1 C of shredded sharp Cheddar, until melted. Stir in sour cream, chives and most of the bacon; reserving a few pieces for garnish. Cook until bacon is warmed through; about 5 minutes. Serve while hot, garnished with additional cheddar, bacon and chives.
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