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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thick and Hearty Potato Soup

We all know I have an annoying love for soup.  In the cold weather months I could eat it everyday.  It is also a meal that I can have for lunch, again for dinner and then again for lunch the next day.  The only other food I can do that with is pizza.
So, soup consider yourself pretty special.
As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker's Program I was recently asked to visit a Panera Bread location and then create a soup of my own with their soup philosophy.  They start at the most basic level - with fresh and thought out ingredients.  Nothing ordinary by any means, as the taste of their soups really stands out, but they vow to keep things simple.
Who doesn't love a soup that is easy, fresh and mouth-watering good?

I sought out a bowl of their Broccoli Cheddar Soup while I was there, in their Pick 2 Combo, and paired it with the Smoked House Turkey Panini.  When I'm there and stumbling over what I want {because it's all good!}, I usually fall back on this combination.  It never fails me.
After getting back home I knew I wanted to create the same type of creamy, thick, hearty soup.  And with a huge bag of potatoes on hand, some carrots, milk and cheese, my mind immediately drifted towards a potato soup.
This is a new recipe for me, and let me tell you it's a keeper.  Beyond good, stick-to-your-ribs good.  I cannot say enough about it.
As you well know, I ate it for lunch, dinner and then again lunch.

Thick & Hearty Potato Soup
8 baking potatoes, peeled and diced into small chunks
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 c. diced ham {optional}
2 c. chicken stock
2 c. water
1 T. chicken bouillon
1 T. dried onion flakes
1 t. pepper
5 T. flour
5 T. butter
2 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
In a large stockpot combine potatoes, carrots, ham, chicken stock, water and chicken bouillon.  Bring to a boil.  Continue to boil until potatoes and carrots are fork tender.  With a potato masher, give the pot a few good mashes - this will help to break up some of the potatoes and thicken the soup.
In a saucepan melt butter.  Sift in flour and whisk to combine.  Cook on medium heat until bubbly and flour has cooked through, around 3-4 minutes.  Slowly whisk in milk, season with pepper and dried onion.  Continue stirring on medium heat, until milk starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes.  Once thick, add in cheese.  Stir to combine.
Pour cheese sauce into stockpot and stir to combine.  Taste test to see if seasonings need adjusted.  Eat immediately or let cool and refrigerate.  Will keep for up to a week in the fridge.


A big thanks to Panera Bread for letting me take part in another soup adventure!  Now I've got another half day of work, and then it is down-to-the-wire time for our holiday dinner party tomorrow night at my girlfriend's house.
I need to get baking!

Disclaimer: As part of the DailyBuzz Healthy Living Program, I received a free gift card and stipend from Panera Bread. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Thick, creamy and comforting! Right up my alley!

  2. Waving hands - I am a soup whore too! I could eat it every day and never get sick of it. I'll have to try your potato soup.

    Did I tell you that my daughter works at Panera? The first things she told me? "Mom, they don't make the soup in house, it comes in big frozen bags and they defrost it in a big pot of hot water."

    I don't care, I still love it though!

  3. That is so fun! My fav is the broccoli cheddar. I ate it a few times a week when I was pregnant!

  4. We are kindred spirits! I could eat soup every single day even in the summertime. I LOVE Panera - there is one like 2 minutes from my house and I take full advantage of it. Your potato soup looks creamy and decadent!

  5. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)December 17, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Potato soup is one of my all time favourite foods. Soooo comforting!