Baked Potato . . . Soup

I never thought I'd say this, but I am birthday-ed out. I usually hate my birthday being over, but after a weekend (plus) of doing things for my birthday -- with my birthday being the quietest day of them all -- I am officially done birthday-ing. I'm not saying it wasn't a wonderful weekend; by all means, it was! But today was back to real life, and I can't say I'm as disappointed as I usually am about that.
So, how often do you walk into Panera and see baked potato soup on the menu? I think I tried it once, but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. However, this baked potato soup? Yes. Much better.
So we had chili and baked potatoes for my birthday, and there were leftover potatoes. My claim to this blog post is that it was my idea to make baked potato soup to use up the baked potatoes. I didn't actually make the soup, mom did. It was handy on a day when mom and I were out grad school visiting. It takes longer when you have to bake the potatoes, but it's a great way to use up leftover potatoes.
Anyway, this soup is creamy and cheesy, but just enough. Not too overwhelming. And also not too much on the onions, chives or garlic. Not that I don't like garlic, but I prefer not to have it in my baked potato soup.
Baked Potato Soup
from Cooking Light

4 baking potatoes (approx. 2 1/2 pounds)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups milk, microwaved
1 cup reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 tsp salt
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Pierce potatoes with a fork and bake for 1 hour, or until tender. Cool the potatoes, then peel and coarsely mash them. Discard the skins.

Measure 2/3 cup of flour without packing it. Place it in a large soup pot and gradually add the warmed milk until blended. Cook until thick and bubbly, over medium heat, about 8 minutes.

Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cups cheese and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated, but not boiling.
Sprinkle each serving with remaining cheese and bacon.

Makes 5 servings.


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