Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Right now I have to admit I am a little bit jealous. Yesterday and last night my parents house in Illinois finally got the first big snowfall of the season. They built a fire and my mom is spending the day making big batches of soup and baking. Now, I know I shouldn’t complain when it is 75 and sunny here in LA. I never have to shovel snow and salt is used for seasoning, not for icy sidewalks! But, I do sometimes long for those chilly winter days…especially when it involves wrapping up in a fluffy blanket and cupping a warm bowl of soup.
This recipe couldn’t be easier and it can be customized to your personal tastes. Everything you love to top a baked potato can be added to this simple soup. It can be whipped up in minutes with only a few ingredients. The secret? Half a package of instant roasted garlic flavored mashed potatoes. Give it a try this weekend….whether or not you have snow!
6 bacon strips, chopped
2 cups fat free milk
2 cups water
1/2 (7.6 ounce) package roasted garlic instant mashed potatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook bacon, drain on a paper towel, set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on top of soup.
Combine milk and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add potatoes, and stir with a wire whisk until well blended. Add 3/4 cup cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon. Spoon into serving bowls; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese, 2 tablespoons bacon and freshly ground black pepper. Top with chopped chives and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
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