So as stated yesterday, I decided to make a warm, filling-sounding soup since it has started to be consistently and pleasantly chilly outside :). I often peruse the kraft food recipe website for ideas, and that is where this recipe originates! They offer some basic and cool categories (chicken, budget, vegetarian, holiday/seasonal). There are a few downsides, in my opinion, such as: pushing certain brands (of course you can just ignore this), dishes that are quite bland, a lot of "pre-made" things (not always bad, but when it's on really easy stuff that just tastes infinitely better to make yourself, I turn my nose up a little). However, these obstacles can be overcome by reading the reviews--there are some really helpful suggestions! And of course, just using the site as a springboard for a "base" recipe. I find myself tweaking the recipe when/where I feel confident!
Anyway, here is the recipe I followed last night, very easy.
Bacon and Baked Potato Soup! (original recipe found here)
Ingredients (for two):
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onions--for the veggies, just use as much as you want. I love them so I definitely used more than the original recipe called for.
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
- 1-1/4 cups milk
- 2 potatoes (I just used Russet). Cut into cubes. You can pre-bake/boil if you want. I didn't.
- pinch of pepper
- 10 slices bacon, cooked (bake it!). I suppose it only takes 5 slices, since I always cut mine in half.
- 1 cup of cheese (whatever you like! we used a blend of cheddars)
- 3-4 green onions
- 1/4 cup sour cream
1. I started by getting my bacon in the oven. (see link in ingredient list) As it was cooking, I continued on with the following steps.
2. Dice up your veggies! Onions, celery, potatoes (remember, I didn't pre-cook mine. Feel free to do so if you want!).
3. Melt the butter in a pot, and sautee your onions and celery (not the green onions) on medium-high heat.. Make sure they are still a little crisp, since they will continue to cook the entire time.
5. Bring to a light boil, and constantly stir. If you don't pre-cook the potatoes, you will have to stir for about 25 minutes, working on mushing them up as they soften.
6. Somewhere during this time, your bacon should be finishing up (if you did it my way). I'd take about half of the strips and crumble them into your pot. I also suggest taking a tablespoon of the grease and add it, as well. It will help flavor everything! Yummmm. Fatttttt.
8. Spoon out the soup into bowls, topping with a dollop of sour cream, some green onions, some cheese, and the rest of the bacon, crumbled up! SOOO GOOD.
And there you have it! My husband and I really enjoyed this meal. It was enough in itself and felt very "hearty". It was very filling. I think the toppings at the end are really important because each component adds a lot of flavor to the dish. I could see how people might find the soup alone kind of bland without more spices added to it. Afterall, it is mostly plain ol' potatoes!
So there you have it. It really didn't take long and although I didn't exactly calculate it out, it is quite a cheap meal. Everything in this meal was something I already had in my refrigerator except for the green onions. Even if that isn't the case for you, the most expensive part is probably a bag of cheese or bacon ($2 and $3 respectively when found on sale!) which are both items you will have left-overs and can be used in lots of other dishes for other meals that week. We'll definitely be making this again when the nights are cool and our week is jam-packed (oh wait, that's every evening for the fall/winter season ;) ).