Loaded Baked Potato Soup
One of the most popular soups in the store is Loaded Baked Potato. And rightly so! How can you go wrong putting potatoes, cheese and bacon together? Inspired when I put out our commercial version one morning I decided it was time I learned to make a homemade version for my family.
The internet was full of options, I decided on a crock pot based recipe that used more chicken stock then milk or cream as I love our Emeril’s organic chicken stock for its flavor, ingredient list and price. The cool thing about each version I read; every single ingredient except chives (I can cheerfully substitute green onions) is always available on our shelves!
The organic yellow onion smelled so good while I was frying it up I had to text a friend to invite her and her boyfriend to dinner. She happily accepted and I mused over how many connections my choice to make soup today had made. The potatoes, onions and scallions came from Paradise Organics out of Lancaster https://www.localharvest.org/paradise-organics-M67598. The garlic was grown by Good Farm in New Tripoli http://www.goodfarmcsa.com. The bacon and cheddar come from Peters Brothers Meat Market in Lenhartsville. The butter, ½ and ½, and sour cream come from Clover Farms in Reading who purchase milk from some of our local dairy farmers. The salt and pepper come from our bulk food supplier Dutch Valley in Myerstown, PA. My beloved chicken stock isn’t local, but at least by acquiring my ingredients from the store I am supporting the seven women who work here. My dollars are being spread through my community plus my family and friends are getting fed physically and socially. Served up with an organic salad from the produce case and a Daily Loaf http://www.thedailyloaf.com baguette I grabbed from the freezer and warmed up, made my local connections complete. What a great feeling!
LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP
6 large baking potatoes, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 quart chicken stock (or 1 carton of Emeril’s)
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup butter (½ a stick)
2 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup ½ and ½
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons spring onions, white part chopped
1 cup sour cream (optional)
8 slices bacon
More grated cheese (optional)
Fry the bacon in a frying pan over medium heat. When crisp and cooked through remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour most of the grease off leaving about 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan.
Add the onion and saute in the bacon grease until translucent and you’ve scraped up all the yummy little bacony bits, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Scrape into a crock pot.
Add the potatoes, stock, butter, salt and pepper to the crock pot.
Cook on high 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.
Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soup is slightly thickened.
Stir in ½ & ½ , cheese and green onions.
Top with sour cream, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and more cheese.