It’s June. Barbecues, sundresses, flip-flops and frozen margaritas. School is out, summer Fridays are on and your neighborhood pool is open for the season. So why am I making soup? Not a cool summer soup like chilled avocado soup but a creamy, comforting loaded baked potato soup that will stick to your ribs and heal all that is wrong in the world.
Why am I making that in June, a month reserved for pasta salads, panzanella and cookouts?
The truth is, I don’t have a good answer for you. I found myself with a surplus of potatoes in my crisper and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with them. Baked potatoes felt like a cop-out, mashed potatoes would have been a five-pound gain waiting to happen and potato pancake season is December, isn’t it?
The one thing I can give you is that when the seasons change (and in any climate I’ve ever lived in it seems like we go from 40 degrees to 80 degrees overnight) people get sick: between seasonal allergies and colds, coughs and sore throats it seems like every day, someone else is down for the count. And really, isn’t chicken soup awfully boring?
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5-6 large white baking potatoes, peeled, rinsed and cut into cubes
- 1 medium white onion 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
- 1 cup low-fat or fat-free milk
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 6 slices cooked bacon, fat drained
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and potatoes and cook until vegetables soften, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add cream, stirring consistently. Let soup simmer on low for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon according to package directions. Crumble into small pieces and add to soup, stirring to combine. Add cheddar cheese and parsley; stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chives, green onions or sour cream if desired.