Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup

Last year our pastor asked if I would be willing to make chicken noodle and baked potato soup to end our youth group's 30-Hour Famine.  The chicken noodle soup was easy, but I didn't have one for Baked Potato Soup, so I started my search and found this yummy recipe on Leigh Anne's blog at Your Homebased Mom My family fell in love with it and the youth group seemed to love it as well.  I fixed it yesterday on the spur of a moment for a very chilly and windy March day and it's already gone.

 It tastes like a baked potato but in soup form.

It’s also a great way to use any leftover baked potatoes you might have.

Baked Potato Soup
The addition of cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onion in the soup as well as on top give it great flavor.  A baked potato with all the toppings!  You can mash up your mashed potato as much as you like.

Baked Potato Soup

4-6 large baking potatoes
1/2 C butter
2/3 C flour
3 C chicken broth
3 C milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/4 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 C sour cream
12 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled.

  1. Bake potatoes in a hot oven until tender and then cool.  Cut in half and scoop out the pulp and set it aside. (Make some potato skins out of the rest.).  I cooked my potatoes like I would for mashed potatoes, boiling cubed potatoes until tender, the liquid should boil down. Many times I like to add chicken broth to the water I use to boil my potatoes in as it adds a touch flavor.
  2. Melt butter, add flour, stir and cook over low heat until smooth.  Gradually add broth and milk, cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbly; stir often.  The rue from the broth will be really thick.  Be patient and make sure you let the butter and flour cook completely.  You may have to add a bit more broth
  3. Add potatoes, seasonings, half of the green onions and cheese.  Heat thoroughly. 
  4. Stir in sour cream.  Add extra broth or milk if necessary for desired consistency.  Garnish with remaining green onion, cheese and crisp bacon.
She added:   I found that as the soup sat on the stove top it thickened up a bit so just thinned it down with some more milk and chicken broth.

I hope you'll give this a try.  It's simply delicious!

If you don't know how to make a butter and flour rue, explained it the way it do it. 
  1.   Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat.

2. Stir in flour. Using a wire whisk, stir the butter-flour mixture until it bubbles. This is called a roux.

3. Cook and stir the roux for 1-2 minutes. This gets rid of the raw flour taste and allows the starch granules in the flour to accept the liquid. Remove from heat.

4. Heat the liquid in a separate pan.

5. Slowly add the liquid to the roux, stirring vigorously with that wire whisk.

6. Return saucepan to heat. Cook and stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens. This process begins at the bottom of the pot, so be sure to stir constantly.

7. When the sauce is thickened and just begins to boil, remove from heat. You've made a white sauce!

Heating the liquid ensures lumps won't form as easily in the sauce.
Make sure you cook the flour-butter mixture for 1-2 minutes so the sauce will thicken.
Using a wire whisk really is essential. It incorporates the liquid into the roux very well, preventing lumps from forming.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I don't know where this recipe originated, but I've always called them Home School Cookies and have been making them for over a decade. A friend who home schooled brought them to a band concert our kids were performing in and they were a hit! My kids absolutely love them and they are so easy you can make them with young children.

Flourless, four ingredient, Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 whole egg
1 tsp baking soda

In a medium bowl beat peanut butter and sugar.  Add egg and baking soda and mix well.

Roll the dough into small balls (about the size of a 1/2 dollar) and place on a greased cookie sheet (I spray mine lightly with Pam.  Flatten each cookie with a fork using a criss-cross pattern.  You can dip the fork in sugar before doing the criss-cross.

 Bake at 350°F degrees for about 10 minutes or until you see them golden brown at the bottom. Cool 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. 

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies. You can double this easily as they should disappear rather quickly.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

 I've been going through my recipe notebook and trying some recipes I've had for quite some time.  Time to break out of my cooking funk and try some new dishes!

This is one that I literally ripped out of a cooking magazine back in 2003!!! I must say I LOVE it, but my tomato disliking son picked out all the tomatoes and THEN ate it.  I loved the rich creamy sauce which married perfectly with the chicken and spices.  I hope you'll give it a try.  I did not add the mushrooms, and it turned out perfect. Here it is:


 If she could have any job in the world, member Jean Lehman would own and manage a small, upscale restaurant. She’s already an accomplished cook, having published a cookbook called Family & Friends. We’re sure this recipe for chicken lasagna would be a hit at any restaurant she opened. For a lighter version, Jean recommends using low-fat cheese. Serve the lasagna with garlic bread and a green salad.

5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced plum tomatoes, undrained
2 (4-oz.) cans sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups (12 oz.) shredded Swiss and/or mozzarella cheese
8 oz. cooked lasagna noodles
3/4 cup (3 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9-inch pan. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are transparent. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, tarragon, basil, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Simmer 4 to 6 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in chicken.

2. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; cook 2 minutes. Stir in half-and-half; cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in wine; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

3. Spoon one-third of the tomato sauce into bottom of pan. Cover with one-third of the white sauce. Top with 1 cup of the Swiss cheese; cover with one-half of the lasagna noodles. Repeat. Top with final one-third of the red sauce and white sauce and remaining 1 cup Swiss cheese; sprinkle with Parmesan.

4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through and light golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes.

8 servings

PER SERVING: 580 calories, 34 g total fat (19.5 g saturated fat), 34.5 g protein, 34.5 g carbohydrate, 120 mg cholesterol, 1055 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber