This soup is like a classic steakhouse baked potato you can eat with a spoon! Plan ahead and stick whole potatoes directly on the oven rack to bake when your oven is on. Keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to make soup. In a pinch, you can poke them with a fork and “bake” them in the microwave for 10 minutes. Include the whole potato – skins and all – to boost fibre and nutrients.
Bakes Potato Soup
4 large or 6-8 small russet potatoes
olive or canola oil, for cooking
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 large leek, halved and white and pale green parts sliced
2 celery stalks, diced (with leaves)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken stock
1/2-1 cup (125-250 ml) half & half or whole milk
salt and pepper, to taste
Baked potato toppings:
Cooked, crumbled bacon
Chopped green onion
Bake the potatoes directly on the oven rack at 350˚F for 45 minutes, or poke them with a fork and cook in the microwave for 7–8 minutes, until almost tender and steaming. Once they’ve cooled enough to handle, cut into 4–8 pieces.
In a medium pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat with the butter. When the foam subsides, sauté the onion, leek and celery for 4-5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the potatoes and stock along with 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper and cook for 10–20 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft and their skins are peeling back. Add the cream and roughly mash the potatoes with the back of a spoon or a potato masher, or puree using a hand-held immersion blender right in the pot. Add a little extra stock or cream if it seems too thick. Make it as chunky or smooth as you like.
Serve hot, with bowls of garnishes for everyone to top their own at the table Serves 6.
Per serving (without garnishes): 348 calories, 10 g fat (4.8 g saturated fat, 4.3 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat), 55 g carbohydrates, 22 mg cholesterol, 10.5 g protein, 3.9 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2013.