The holiday season, I don’t know if I like it or it‘s just getting crazier each year that I want to hibernate until it‘s over. If I could, I would trust me, but my kids. Ah! They just love the whole holiday concept; decorating, Christmas songs and movies, presents, food, etc. They made us get a tree to decorate just before Thanksgiving. We really try to give them every year what they expect and nothing less. If they are happy, then, it fills my heart with a joy too, so yeah, I put myself on the side, and focus on making them happy.
What can we expect in the year of 2015?
Well, the word is out that “one person” selfies will not be popular anymore! Shocking news, right?! We don’t have to be narcissistic by ourselves, instead, group selfies will be popular and more narcissistic people in one picture. Yup! Holidays make me more of a Grinch, sorry. I’ll try to stay positive without much sarcasm. Anyhoo… I am on a soup kick lately if you haven’t noticed already. It comforts me so much, not only to eat but to cook it too.
Just last week and this one as well, I’ve made roasted tomato soup, Chicken and pea soup, spinach, beans and barley soup, pinto bean soup, and of course kimchi jjigae. You know what I am craving today? Yes, it’s soup. Korean Oxtail soup to be more precise. It does take some time to be cooked but I’ll leave that for my weekend project. Maybe it’s a winter thing, or perhaps I just need to comfort my soul trying not to have holiday meltdowns, but soups do put me in a better mood.
Baked Potato Soup
Easy and delicious Baked Potato Soup
- 4 potatoes for baking
- 6 bacon slices
- 3/4 cup chopped green onions divided
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups Milk fat-free or reduced fat works fine
- 1 cup Chicken Broth low sodium
- 1/2 cup Heavy Whipped Cream
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. Dry Parsley
- 1/2 tsp Thyme
- 1 cup 4 ounces shredded Smoked Gouda Cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash potatoes and wrap each potato individually in heavy-duty Aluminum foil and bake for about 1 hour or until tender. Cool for a bit, then peel the potatoes and mash. It doesn't have to be perfectly matched, just roughly mash. (Leftover baked potatoes work too)
- In a larger pot, add bacon (cut into small pieces) and cook until crispy. Remove, and place on the kitchen paper towel. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Add chopped green onions in the pot and saute for a few minutes, remove half of the green onions/scallions for the garnish.
- Mix flour with milk (Roux) until smooth. Turn the heat on medium, add milk in the pot, stirring Roux in with a whisk until blended and smooth, then add chicken stock and heavy whipped cream. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup of cheese, salt and pepper to taste, parsley, and thyme; Stir until cheese melts and everything is combined, about 8 minutes.
- Ladle soup into each bowl and sprinkle each serving with cheese, green onions, and crunchy bacon. Garlic croutons are really good too.
You can use Cheddar Cheese instead, or any that you prefer or like. Smoked Gouda cheese adds so much flavor. Bacon is a must, but you can use turkey bacon if you do not eat pork. Now the flavor is a bit different. Russet potatoes are high starch potatoes and great for this soup. If you are using cold leftover baked potatoes, I would recommend mash them when you add into the pot to cook use fork to smash more or add soup in a blender if you do not like potato chunks. If you are going to puree soup to a smooth consistency in a food processor or a blender often you'd have to work in batches. The reason why I am pointing that: the liquid may start coming out the edges of the food processor or the built-up steam can actually blow the lid off the blender, so the best way is to add maybe half of the food processor or blender as you puree. If it's too thick for you, just adjust the liquid. Add more milk or chicken broth, boil, whisk and see if the thickness is the way you like it.