Friday, January 25, 2013

Cheesy bacon and potato soup served in a bread bowl



It seems fitting that my first posted recipe would contain potatoes as the main ingredient (considering my strong Irish roots). This is probably the only soup recipe that I can get away with passing off as dinner. Normally when I try to pass off soup as the main course, my family is wondering " where's the beef ?" The trick here is in the name, in our house we call it bacon potato soup. You see, when I called it cream of potato soup no one was interested. I knew once they tried this they would be hooked. This tastes best using leeks, but any onion can be substituted. My potato of choice are Yukon Golds, but again, the choice is yours. This makes a generous serving size, you will fill your bread bowl at least twice, maybe more.This is ultimate comfort food and my family requests it often, I hope your family enjoys it too.


Cheesy Bacon & Potato Soup

Servings: 6
  
Nutritional info for soup only:
Calories: 335 • Fat: 8 g • Carb: 40 g • Fiber: 4 g  Protein: 21 g

Nutritional info for bread bowl:
This will vary. Figure roughly 100 calories per ounce. I use a small 2 oz roll for my soup, my family likes the larger 4 oz rolls. Panera sour dough bread bowls are 8.7 ounces and 660 calories each. Choose your bread carefully.

Ingredients:
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes, washed and diced
  • 4 large leeks, white and light green parts diced
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and diced
  • 4 stalks celery diced
  • 4 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz. reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 6 tbsp chopped chives, divided
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (you can use turkey bacon if you prefer)
  • 1 bundle of fresh thyme

Directions:

 
In a large soup pot, saute leeks, celery and carrots in olive oil for a few minutes, then add potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, sauté a few more minutes then add chicken broth. Immerse bundle of thyme sprigs in soup and simmer with lid on until potatoes are tender. Remove thyme bundle. Use an immersion blender to puree. Add half of the crumbled bacon and simmer for 5 minutes stirring to make sure the soup does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add the skim milk and half of the shredded cheddar cheese. Bring back to a simmer. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Remove from heat.

Prepare bread bowls: Carve out middle of bowl to make room to hold the soup. Be careful not to cut through the bottom or the soup will leak out. Toast carved out bread bowls in 300 degree oven on a baking sheet for ten minutes to make the crust nice and crispy. Toast the bread you removed also and serve with the bread bowl for dipping.
Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Top each serving with cheese, remaining chives, and bacon.

Optional addition: Sometimes we add 1-2 cups of diced ham to this soup. The nutritional info shown does not include the ham

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