loaded baked potato soup

potatoes, broccoli, ham, bacon… thank you, fall. i never crave soup during the warm seasons. does anyone? i love to feel the heat coming from the kitchen when the stove is piping in the afternoon, warm smells billowing their way through all rooms of the house. everyone knows soup is warming, comforting, and a handshake into the cold weather. we must give in. it is fall and it is cold. the wind is blustering around the corners of our house, whisteling in the morning and howling in the evening. our toes are cold on the hardwood floors, and my hands have burns on them from stirring the pot.

soup.

soup for the soul.

i didn’t need to buy many things to make this belly-warming meal. i could add things like cream cheese if i wanted, or take out things like ham if i needed to. i could omit the broccoli if i wanted, and use cooked leeks instead. i have made variations on this soup, and as long as you taste, taste, taste as you go, you can’t go wrong with the recipe i am giving you.

i like to make a big pot on sunday to have leftovers during our busy, cold week.

this recipe makes 6 large bowls of soup.

loaded baked potato soup

ingredients:

8 medium red-skinned potatoes

8 strips of bacon, plus more for garnish if you wish

1 small yellow onion

10 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced

1 cup broccoli florets

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup stock

8 oz uncured, cooked ham steak, diced

fresh herbs- rosemary, thyme or sage work really well here

1 tbsp salt + more to taste

1/2 cup greek yogurt- 0%, 2%, or full fat is fine

cheddar cheese, shredded

method: in a very large pot, boil potatoes whole until tender. they do not have to be completely cooked.

meanwhile, chop onion into smallish bits and mince garlic.

once potatoes are cooked, drain them.

use the same pot to fry bacon until crispy. remove cooked bacon and transfer to paper towels. reserve fat from bacon. sautee onions until clear. add half of the salt to the onions.

add garlic the cooked onions. cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.

add broccoli, salt, and cooked potatoes to onions and garlic. use a potato masher or other blunt object to smash up potatoes. add broth and stock. stir and cook for 15 minutes or so. smash up big bits of potato and broccoli as you go along.

once soup is heated through and broccoli is cooked until very tender, add ham. allow to cook for 5 minutes, then add herbs, salt, crumbled bacon, cream cheese and yogurt. stir well, allow to heat through.

taste the soup, add salt as you see fit. i like this soup pretty salty, but be careful. the magic is in tasting as you go, gradually.

serve soup with shredded cheddar and bacon on top. i also like to stir a small cube of cream cheese into my bowl!

save leftovers for warm lunches throughout the week.