So, here it is, the first day of fall…80 degrees here in Texas but that isn’t the point..it is now, quite officially…potato soup weather.
I grew up with potato soup. Not this potato soup but my mom’s version..the one SHE grew up with..and she was born in 1918. I hardly ever deviate from that recipe, my comfort food both when I was a kid and as an adult. But this recipe may be…just a tiny bit better than my mom’s recipe. If not in memories then in taste, anyway. By baking the potatoes in the oven they have a roasted flavor, stronger than when they are boiled and stronger than when they are microwaved, too.
I have great memories of Bennigan’s. I had my first legal drink at the one out by Six Flags in 1978 at my 18th birthday steak dinner. I am so out of the loop though, that I did not know they had filed bankruptcy.
This is not a delicate potato soup at all..It is robust and can hold up to garlic bread or onion rolls with ease. It is a great side with a corned beef sandwich, or on it’s own with a hunk of garlic bread and a salad.
You don’t have to put the bacon fat in if you are freaky about fat but you will be missing alot of taste that way.
Bennigan’s Baked Potato Soup
- 5 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and stabbed with a knife in the centers
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 4 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 2 cups Pacific Free Range Organic chicken broth
- 6 cups whole milk or half and half
- 3 tablespoons bacon fat
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or smoked gouda
- 1/2 lb bacon cooked and crumbled
- Chopped scallions
- Sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bake potatoes 1 hour or until they are tender when pierced. Peel.
- Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium low heat. Stir in onions and garlic; cover and cook 10 minutes until soft, but not brown.
- Add 2/3 of the potatoes and mash with a potato masher. Add the chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the bacon fat.
- Cut the remaining potatoes in small cubes. Add to the soup.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar, and scallions.
Image: Marye Audet