This recipe will make a HUGE pot of soup. Enough to feed your whole family as a main dish AND still have leftovers for lunch the next day! It pairs very well with some crusty bread and a nice, light salad. Hey, you've gotta have something healthy in the mix to balance out all of the cheese, ham, bacon, butter and cream in this soup!
It does take some time to prepare, and it can be a messy recipe, since there is bacon involved, but it's well-worth the time and effort. If you happen to try it, please let me know how you like it! Oh! And if you DO end up making a bit of a mess in the kitchen, Original Concentrated Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner makes clean-up a cinch! I have an active giveaway for some right now...Go check it out by going to my "Current Giveaway" tab and enter to win some for yourself! Okay, enough shameless plugs. On to the recipe!
Brandy's Baked Potato Soup
- 4 potatoes I like red-skinned, and I leave the skins on.
- 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 Tsp onion powder. You can use REAL onions to taste, but I HATE them, so I just use powder.
- 3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 6-2/3 cups chicken stock
- 3-1/3 cups water
- 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2-1/2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
- 1-3/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 1-1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (Optional)
- 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1-2/3 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Havarti cheese. Can substitute Muenster, if desired.
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Parmesan/Romano blend
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, cubed
- 1 cup Velveeta, cubed for easy melting.
- 13 ounces bacon - cooked and crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups cooked ham, such as honey glazed, diced
- 3-1/4 green onions, chopped (Optional. Hubby likes em, but I don't.)
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce. I like Louisiana Crystal Sauce. (Optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake potatoes for 1 hour, or until done. Set aside to cool.
- Melt butter in a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender and golden brown. Stir in flour, and cook 5 minutes to make a roux. Pour in chicken stock and water. Add cornstarch and mashed potato flakes. Season with salt, black, white, and crushed red pepper, onion powder, basil and thyme. *I like to add just a 1/4 teaspoon of hot sauce at this point. Totally optional, though!* Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the skin from the cooled potatoes, and discard. Dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes, and stir into soup, along with the half-and-half. Add most of the bacon,(reserve a couple slices to garnish with) ham, Velveeta, parmesan, cream cheese, havarti and cheddar cheeses. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thick.Remember to stir, stir, stir! You might get a layer of burnt cheese at the bottom otherwise! Spoon into bowls, and garnish with additional shredded cheese, bacon and chopped green onion, if desired.