Thursday, June 12, 2014

Baked Potato with Chicken soup

I made soup this morning.  Yup, got up early to do it and everything!  See, I was gonna make this last night, but then I fell asleep, and napped throughout a good portion of the evening, and then I didn't want to make it super late... and then of course because I napped like a goofball that I am, I had trouble sleeping and got up way too early this morning.

So... I made the soup!

And, let me tell you, it has turned out delicious!

.....

And being the complete goofball that I can be, I didn't even think of taking pictures until the final shot of the soup in the pot.

So, here is the recipe that I kinda made up as I went.  It is based off of a healthier version of baked potato soup, but then I deviated... like I tend to do with most recipes!

Without further ado... here is the recipe!

Baked Potato with Chicken

2 russet potatoes, cleaned
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into pieces
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth, plus 2 more cups, set aside.
2 cups reduced fat milk (I used 2% cause thats what I had)
~2 cups chicken
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

First, I poked holes all through the potatoes, and then nuked them according to the potato button on my microwave (set to two potatoes, for obvious reasons.)  It took about 8.5 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and set aside to cool. While the potatoes were cooking, I preheated my oven to 400* and put the cauliflower on a foil lined baking sheet.  I drizzled a little bit of olive oil, and then roasted the cauliflower for about 15 minutes.  I didn't really time them, but once you start smelling them and see a lovely caramelization going, then they are pretty much done!

So, while these are all cooking up nice and wonderfully, I broke out a skillet and added the onion with some butter, and put them on a medium-low heat.  Caramelized onions are the best things ever, and this is saying a lot since I do not like onions usually.

As the onions caramelized, I peeled the potatoes (and honestly, I could have let them sit a little longer, those buggers are hot!) and chopped them up.  Into a soup pot they went, along with the cauliflower.  Once the onions were a beautiful color, I added the garlic and let them cook about a minute longer.  Then into the pot they went as well.

2 cups each of the broth and milk were added, as well as a pinch of red pepper flakes (more if you like a little more kick) and the whole thing was brought up to a boil.

In a skillet (I used the same on as for the onions... why get more dirty then what is needed?) I added the chicken with a little bit of olive oil and some garlic powder, and slowly started to heat it up.  The chicken was from a deli whole chicken that I needed to use up, so it was about 2 cups worth that I managed to pick off of the bones.  I kept the heat on medium, because I did not want to dry the chicken out with cooking it super fast.

By the time the chicken was picked off the bones and started to heat up, the soup was beginning to boil.  I took it off the heat and broke out the nifty immersion blender.  (Which actually belongs to my sister... I keep 'forgetting' to give it back.... Shhhhh)

Immersion blending is fun.... my kitchen loves me for it.... it means the kitchen usually gets a bath afterwards.... heheheh.  I admit, I am not the best immersion blender person... I tend to splash it... Don't do what I do... keep it in the pot and take your finger off the 'on' button when you lift it out completely.

To my defense... I was making this soup rather early in the morning.... on just my first cup of coffee!

So, immersion blend.  I left quite a bit of chunkies in there, because I like chunkies in my potato soup.  I then plopped the chicken into the soup, and mixed it all up!  Now, you would think that it would be done... but no......

See... while I like chunkies in my potato soup, I am not a fan of the soup itself being the consistancy of mashed potatoes (the instant kind....).  It was super thick!  So thick that I could turn my tasting spoon over and it would take a moment before plopping back into the pot.

This is where the rest of that chicken stock comes in!  I added it in and it became the perfect consistency!  Also, this is when I added in some salt and no pepper.  I am completely against pepper.  I don't like it.  Not a bit!  So, I use an alternative.... Grains of Paradise!  Love that stuff!  So, I added in some salt and GoP, and about a quarter cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  But, I listed pepper for you freaks who like it....

Additionally, other things could be added!  Bacon (I am bummed, I was gonna add bacon to at least the topping, but it turns out that I am out of bacon.... its a travesty), sour cream, chives, more cheese, or anything else that would traditionally go on top of a loaded potato soup.  I just added chicken, cause I think its delicious!

And here is the final soup!  also... the only picture I took.... I'll be more diligent next time!  I think the next recipe I am gonna make will have something to do with venison, bacon, possibly beef, and all in a pie.  Yum... meat pies....