Pairs perfectly with Ponte’s Chardonnay
The weather is starting to cool down and fall is upon us; this is the time of year I start craving those hearty soups and stews that warm you to the bones. One of my favorite restaurants used to serve a Loaded Baked Potato soup every Wednesday, and when I moved away, it was one of the things I missed the most. I decided to try and recreate the recipe so I could continue to enjoy this delicious treat. Here is what I came up with:
4 large russet potatoes
1 package bacon – chopped
1 yellow onion
2 leeks – white and light green parts chopped
2 T all-purpose flour
1 carton chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 C sharp white cheddar cheese (I just used what I had in my fridge, about 2 Cups, but the more the better in my opinion.) + Some extra shredded for garnish.
½ pt half and half
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 bunch of scallions, chopped for garnish
Wash and wrap potatoes individually in foil and put in oven at 375 degrees. Bake until you can puncture easily with a fork. Bake bacon in Dutch oven until done, drain on paper towels and set aside. Cook onion and leeks in bacon fat until transparent. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to onion and leeks and cook until it starts coating the bottom of the pot. Add ½ carton chicken broth and whisk until thickened. Take hand blender and blend until most of the onions and leeks are no longer visible. Add half and half and cheddar cheese and simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I add a little cayenne pepper for a kick. Once potatoes are done, peel and blend in food processor, stir into soup and add more chicken broth until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Serve with more cheese, scallions and the bacon on top!
**You can use yellow cheddar cheese if you’d like. It will turn the soup yellowish, whereas white cheddar will keep the soup white in color.
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