20 February, 2019
Noreen’s Loaded Potato Soup
3-4 medium size russet potatoes
1 Tablespoon “Better than Bouillon,” chicken flavor
½ pound bacon
4 cups whole milk, divided
2 Tablespoons butter
1 small, Vidalia or Mayan onion, finely chopped
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
4-5 dashes hot sauce (we like Frank’s)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 green onions, chopped, for garnish
Peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes so they cook quickly. Put into a large pot with about 4-5 quarts of cold water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add the “Better Than Bouillon” and reduce heat to medium. Cook at a low boil until the potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet, over medium heat, until crispy. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain and cool. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan – don’t toss it out! After the bacon has cooled, chop it into small chunks and set aside.
Drain the potatoes and put into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the milk and lightly mash them, leaving some small chunks. Cover and set aside.
Rinse out the pot used to cook the potatoes and return it to the stove. Pour in the reserved bacon fat and add the butter, cooking over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the chopped onion and cook until the onion bits are translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
Gradually add the flour to the pot to make a light roux, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. As the flour and onion mixture starts to turn a light brown, gradually stir in the remaining milk, just a little at a time, stirring constantly so it doesn’t clump or burn.
Add the salt and hot sauce and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly as the sauce thickens. Add the sour cream. As the sauce simmers, stir in most of the cheddar cheese, reserving a little bit for garnish. Once the cheese has melted, stir in the bacon and then gently stir in the mashed potatoes, just one large spoonful at a time, to keep the temperature of the sauce from dropping too much and clumping or curdling.
Taste and add a little more salt or hot sauce, if desired. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for about 5 minutes while you toast some bread or rolls to go with this yummy soup. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the chopped green onion and extra cheese and serve warm.