Bacon Mushroom Baked Potato Soup
This is a much healthier version than many potato soup recipes you may chance upon–it has that comforting, baked potato flavor with the juicy, earthy tone of mushroom and a nice, creamy texture with a bit of smoky bacon and a bit of real sharp cheddar cheese … totally intended to make you smile. It worked for me!
I was getting ready for this month’s healthy cooking class and the theme that we chose for this month (a couple weeks ago, back when we had sub-zero temps) was comfort food. Just the words “comfort food” ALWAYS bring up memories of baked potato soup. I have an easy fail-safe recipe that I tweaked from Cooking Light that I’ve been using for years, over and over again, and we seriously love it, but I decided perhaps it’s time to try a new twist this time. How about adding some sauteed mushrooms? Hmm … I decided to change up the method a bit and use the mushrooms (and other veggies) as the thickening agent in the soup INSTEAD of flour. This would be a great solution for my gluten free friends, yes?
Well, it worked beautifully. When I finished blending the mushroom mixture, I was tempted to stop right there, it tasted so good. I may have to go back and repeat this process for a cream of mushroom soup, but I pressed on and added the milk and potatoes and oh yes, that was good.
- 3 thin slices of lean bacon
- 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- 1/3 cup chopped carrot
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 small bay leaf
- 2 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups of baked potato flesh (2 - 3 potatoes)
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Put your potatoes in the oven at 350 F. to bake until soft and tender when poked with a fork. I like to wet mine and sprinkle them with salt, then place directly on the oven rack to bake. It'll take about an hour.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon, stir and cook until it's crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and chop or crumble it.
- Pour any excess bacon fat out of the pan leaving just a thin film on the bottom of the pan, then add the mushrooms, onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Saute for several minutes or until the onion is soft & translucent.
- Add the broth and bay leaf, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 - 15 minutes or until all the veggies are very tender. Remove the bay leaf and pour the soup into a blender. Add the cream cheese and blend until smooth.
- When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and scoop out the flesh. Put the potato flesh in a bowl and mash roughly with a fork. Leave some chunks if you want chunky potato soup.
- Pour the blended mushroom mixture back into the pan and stir in the milk and potatoes. Heat over medium low heat until hot, then stir in the cheddar cheese. Stir until melted.
- Pour into bowls and top with shredded cheese, snipped green onions and some of the bacon.
You can also bake the potatoes ahead of time and store them in a bag in the fridge, or scoop out the flesh and roughly mash and store in a container until time to make the soup.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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