You can just go ahead and file this baked potato soup recipe in your culinary repertoire under "idiot proof", right behind boiled water and Kraft Macaroni. The most tedious part of the entire process is peeling the potatoes (or, if you're really hungry, waiting for them to come to a boil), and this minor drawback can be minimized by buying large russet potatoes - because they're larger and generally smoother, peeling them is quicker and less tedious than smaller, rounder potatoes.
Baked Potato Soup
- YIELD: Serves 2; recipe can be doubled
- COOK TIME: 30 minutes (because this makes enough for you to have two meals, you can think of this as a 15 minute dinner)
- 2 or 3 large russet potatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream, (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper + additional salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional garnish
- heddar, shredded
- Bacon, crumbled
- Scallions, sliced
- Peel the potatoes and chop into ~1 inch cubes, about 1 inch in length and width.
- Place the chopped potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until the potatoes are just covered.
- Add salt, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.
- If you are garnishing with bacon, cook the bacon over medium-low heat in a nonstick skillet while the potatoes cook. Drain it on a paper towel, and crumble when cooled. If necessary, grate the cheddar.
- Simmer the potatoes until fork-tender. (You will easily be able to pierce a piece of potato with a regular table fork.)
- Drain most of the water out of the pot. (I usually leave about an inch of water in the pot, but this varies depending on the shape of your pot. Don't stress!)
- Mash the potatoes until smooth.
- Add the sour cream (optional) and butter and mix until incorporated.
- Add the about 1/2 the milk and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Continue adding milk until you have achieve your desired consistency.
- Stir in pepper and additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and garnish.
Keep in mind, there's really no "wrong" way to cube your potato pieces, so long as the pieces are roughly the same size to ensure even cooking. That said, great big hunks of potato are only going to take longer to cook through, so the lazier you are with your chopping, the longer you'll be drooling over a pot, watching it boil.
My mother typically uses whole milk for this recipe, but I just use whatever I have on hand, which is typically skim milk. With skim milk, that little bit of optional sour cream goes a long way to enhance the richness of the soup.
Also, consider the "optional" cheddar and bacon garnishes to be less optional...who would want to eat a baked potato without that stuff anyway? (Well, maybe a vegan, but that's not the point...) At the very least, make sure you get some cheese into your bowl.
Finally, this soup is idiot proof because it's pretty hard to screw up. Too thick for your liking? Add some milk. Not enough tang? Up the sour cream or substitute plain greek yogurt. Not enough of a "complete meal" to satisfy your man? ADD MORE BACON.
I should just put "add more bacon" at then end of every recipe, don't you think? Can't go wrong, right? When does more bacon really ever ruin anything?
#TBTIP: I like to double this recipe when I make it. It doesn't require a whole lot more effort, and you'll have an easy mid-week meal when you're too tired (or lazy) to cook. I typically freeze 2-4 servings of the extra soup, ladled out in single portions into ziplock bags or glass containers.