Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Taste & Create: Baked Potato Soup

It's Taste & Create time again! And this time, I can happily tell you that I recently spent two whole days in person with my friend, Nicole, the creator of Taste & Create!! We met in a small town in Colorado, where she was vacationing with her family and inlaws, and my family and I, well, we just went over there to hang out with them! Nicole and I took turns cooking meals for everyone, made fabulous cookies, and just talked for hours while our kids played together. It was so much fun, and I can't wait to see her again.

Taste & Create is Nicole's fabulous food blog event, in which participants are randomly paired up. Each participant chooses a recipe from their partner's blog, makes it, and blogs about it. You never know who you're going to be partnered with, and participants are from all over the world, which makes things interesting! You should definitely participate in this event! Go here for How it Works and sign up!!

My partner this month was Carol of No Reason Needed. Carol is from Canada, and she has some great recipes. We've been paired together for Taste & Create before, but I always like to check all the new recipes she's posted since the last time!

I was seriously considering making the Strawberry Shortcake Cookies (even though she didn't like them), or many of her desserts, actually. I will totally make her Chocolate Waffles for my boys this weekend (topped with strawberries and whipped cream). But for now, I was intrigued by this recipe for Baked Potato Soup.

Like Carol, I have never been to a Tony Roma's...we may be the only two people who can claim this, but that's okay. This soup sounds good. I really had to remember to plan enough time ahead to bake the potatoes.

I would like to make this soup again, without cornstarch and probably without instant mashed potatoes. I just like my soup to have ingredients that aren't processed, and adding that much cornstarch kind of grossed me out (although I did it anyway to follow the recipe).

My husband and I liked the soup, H-Bomb did not like it, and Sawed Off refused to try it. It was easy to put together, even with the baking potatoes ahead of time and scooping out the insides. And it tastes great with the toppings! I'm just not convinced about the need for adding more starch to starchy potatoes, but that could be in my head.

So, how would you tweak this recipe?

Tony Roma's Baked Potato Soup
Serves 6 to 8

2 medium russet potatoes
3 Tbsp. butter
1 C diced white onion
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 C chicken broth
2 C water
¼ C cornstarch
1½ C instant mashed potatoes, dry
1 tsp. salt

¾ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1 C half-and-half

½ C shredded Cheddar Cheese

¼ C crumbled cooked bacon
2 green onions, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake the potatoes for 1 hour or until done. When potatoes are done, remove them from the oven to cool.

As potatoes cool, prepare soup by melting butter in a large saucepan, and saute onion until light brown. Add the flour to the onion and stir to make a roux. Cook and stir for one minute.

Add broth, water, cornstarch, mashed potato flakes, and spices to the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out contents with a large spoon. Discard skin. Chop baked potato with a large knife to make chunks that are about ½-inch in size.

Add chopped baked potato and half-and-half to the saucepan, bring soup back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup for another 15 minutes or until it is thick.

Spoon soup into bowls and top with shredded Cheddar cheese, bacon and green onion.


Corina said...

This looks good. I wouldn't have guessed it had instant potato in though. I also prefer to avoid processed food so I would definitely use real potatoes instead.

Min said...

Corina, I'm right there with you. It has real baked potatoes in there, along with the instant. I think they use the instant potatoes and cornstarch as thickeners, but I'm sure they're unnecessary. I was just following the recipe, but next time I will most definitely change it!!

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