In The Kitchen: Week 3: Loaded Potato Soup

This should probably be titled something more along the lines of week 3 and a half, since I cooked nothing last week! Oops. Baby steps, people, baby steps!

Last night after work I really just needed some comfort food. With the Colt's making it to the Super Bowl, my job has been hectic. Every bar and restaurant in the state now wants blue-white-alcohol-induced posters and banners! Chrischris & I decided to make an O'Charley's-esque Loaded Potato Soup. Let e rephrase, I decided to, he got dragged into dicing potatoes and frying bacon.

The recipe came from this gem. My mom has this thing chock full of handwritten recipes from great grandmas, aunts, cousins, friends and a fair stash of 'just-printed-off' newbies that are sticking out the side. It's my favorite!

Loaded Potato Soup
   -3 lbs red potatoes
   -1/4 c. margarine, melted

   -1/4 c. flour
   -8 c. half-and-half (the half gallon size carton)
   -32oz. block Velvetta cheese, melted
   -Cracked black pepper, to taste
   -Garlic powder, to taste
   -1/2 pound bacon, fried crisply
   -1/2 c. fresh chives chopped
   -1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese

Dice unpeeled red potatoes into 1/2" cubes. Place in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil for about 10 minutes (they will be about 3/4 of the way cooked).

In a separate pot (This is the pot all of your soup will be made in), combine melted margarine and flour, mixing til smooth. Place over low heat and gradually add half-and-half, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until smooth and liquid begins to thicken.

Dice Velvetta into 1" cubes and add to half-and-half mixture. Stir well and let the cheese melt down. Drain potatoes and add them to this pot as well. You can now stir in your garlic powder and black pepper.

Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Serve soup in bowls and top with crumbled bacon, shredded cheese and chives.

This is one of our favorite soup recipes - the best part is that it has the chili factor, and tastes even better the next day!   

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