(Check out Shellie’s crock pot variation at the end of the post!)
Ok, really two dollars, but still. TWO DOLLARS A PERSON, that’s pretty hard to beat. A few days ago it was cold and wet outside (I hate being cold, hate) and so I decided to make a perfect stick to your bones, warm soup.
This Loaded Baked Potato Soup is easy on the pocketbook as well as the tummy. Pocketbook, does anyone even use that term anymore? I digress. Here’s what you’ll need:
2.5 lbs of potatoes
3.5 cups of milk
4 oz softened cream cheese
2 tbsp. butter
2-3 green onions with tops
4 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1.5 tsp. salt
0.5 tsp black pepper
Optional: bacon, sour cream, or any other baked potato topping you enjoy
Alright, let’s get started, shall we?
First “mis en place” pronounced me-zahn-plahs, is a French term that literally translates to “set in place”. To the culinary world it means you have everything ready to cook and in its place.
Start by washing your potatoes. My lovely assistant H2 (’11) was helping me cook, all the while in her Spiderman Halloween costume.
Next, slice your potatoes lengthwise and layer in your baker.
Pour ½ cup of milk over the potatoes.
Cover, and microwave on high for 11 minutes.
While your potatoes are on their first round of baking, it’s time to cook the bacon. The bacon is optional (ha, not in this house, MANDATORY!) so the amount you use is really up to you.
I used only half a pound. Yes, only, and I was worried about getting in trouble. You see, my husband’s grandpa has this rule, “I don’t want to smell bacon for less than a pound.” The man may be a genius, however, only two of us were going to be eating this and half a pound seemed more than fair.
When your potatoes finish their first 11 minutes in the microwave, take them out, move the potatoes from the end to the center, and center to the ends. Put them back in the microwave for another 11 minutes.
Now your potatoes are still in the microwave, and your bacon is cooking, time for the cream cheese. I forgot to give my cream cheese time to properly defrost so
(Professional cooks close your ears, err..eyes…skip this part)
I put it in the microwave to defrost…and if that wasn’t bad enough, I used the entire container. Yikes.
Whisk 4 oz of cream cheese until soft, then add the remaining 3 cups of milk. Whisk again, until blended together.
Check on your bacon. Oh yeahhhh, that’s lookin’ nice! Can you smell that? Did I mention I love bacon. Love.It.
What’s that you ask? “Cassie where did you get your super cute green speckled skillet?” The cooking queen herself, Ms. Paula Deen!
When your potatoes finish their second round in the microwave, take them out. Coarsely chop your potatoes.
Add the butter to your cream cheese and milk mixture, then pour over your potatoes, and microwave for another 5 minutes.
While your soup is finishing up, chop your bacon, grate your cheese, and slice your green onions. Add salt, pepper, and toppings to the entire soup, or add individually to each serving.
There ya go, Loaded Baked Potato Soup. Creamy, delicious, stick to your bones on a cold night. All for $2.00 per serving.
Here’s a crock pot modification from Shellie:
Wash potatoes and place on a cookie sheet or pizza pan and bake at 375* for one hour. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add milk, 1/2 cup at a time, and continue beating until all milk is incorporated.
Chop potatoes coarsely. (If you prefer, remove skins before chopping or leave them on for added flavor.)
Beat together milk mixture with potatoes.
Put in crockpot and cook on low 4 hours or on high 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
If chowder is too thick, add 1/2 cup milk and stir to mix well. Top with bacon, cheese, etc.