Loaded Baked Potato & Broccoli Soup

24 Feb

When you are coughing and sneezing and have a runny nose, sometimes all you need is hot water with lemon and honey and a big bowl of soup. That is me this weekend.

This is a baked potato, with all the toppings, in a bowl of soup. This was a total boyfriend request. This is the crazy part. The boyfriend requested for dinner something with potatoes and broccoli. I figured he meant something like a hunk of meat, some roasted potatoes, and steamed broccoli. Nope. He said “can it be like a soup? Whaaaa? Now I have seen lots of recipes for baked potato soup and I have made my own broccoli-cheddar soup, so we decided that combining them might create a great final product — it did.

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Soup Ingredients:
– Russet potatoes, diced (1) — peel & save the peelings!
– Half an onion, chopped
– Broccoli (1)
– Butter (a lot)
– Chicken broth (4 cups)
– Sour cream (1/4 cup, give or take)
– Heavy cream (1/2 cup, give or take)

Toppings:
– Bacon
– Tomatoes, chopped
– Green onion
– Cheddar cheese
– Crispy potato skins (you’ll see)

Directions:
1. In a large pan or dutch oven, heat your oil of choice and some butter and add onions. Once they are cooked a little, add the potatoes. Salt and pepper and continue to cook.

2. Add the chicken broth. Once the chicken broth is simmering and the potatoes have cooked a bit more, you can use a potato masher and mash the potatoes so it creates a thicker consistency.

3. Add the broccoli. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then using an immersion blender, blend your ingredients to your desired consistency. I left some clumps of potato and chunks of broccoli because I like them – blend more if you want a smoother soup.

4. Add the heavy cream and sour cream. When I have cooked with heavy cream before, it sometimes freaks out and curdles on me. Other times I pour it directly in, and no big deal. I am not experienced enough to know why this occurs. I do know that sometimes I’ll pour my heavy cream and sour cream into a bowl and pour a little of the hot soup into it to raise the temperature — then add it all back into your soup pot.

5. Season and taste (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes) to your preference and continue to let it simmer.

6. While your soup is simmering, prepare your toppings.

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– Dice some tomatoes
– Shred cheddar cheese (you could even toss a handful or two into your soup when you add the sour cream and heavy cream if you like)
– Chop green onions
– Cook your bacon! I like mine crispy. Fry it up and leave the bacon fat in the pan for your potato skins!
– Once the bacon is done, toss in the peel shreddings from your potato and fry them up. Sprinkle some salt as you cook. It’s almost like a french fry, but thinner and crispier and is the perfect topping to your loaded baked potato soup!

7. Serve up your soup with the garnishings of your choice and enjoy!

Pure comfort food.

The Boyfriend Rates It:5
What else would I rate this? It is sheer guy indulgence, in a bowl. The potato base was smooth, creamy and cheesy. The topping are what pushed this dish over the top. The crispy bacon, golden potato skins cooked in bacon fat (MMMMMMMM!!) and the chopped tomato and green onions gave it a that freshness and bite that I always appreciate. The broccoli added the only bit of a healthy factor, but this isn’t a dish you eat for that. It’s one you eat on a cold winter day to make you feel oh soo good.

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