This recipe came from slow traveler Anneo123 from Louisiana.
It seems that anything made with potatoes is comfort food, and this soup was no exception. It was perfect for a cold winter night. It's very easy to make and didn't take much time either. The recipe calls for a bag of frozen shredded potatoes (hash browns) and someone on the Slow Talk food board asked if you could substitute "real" potatoes for the frozen ones. I think that you definitely could but using the frozen potatoes is a time saver.
I had to tweak the recipe a bit because I couldn't find one of the ingredients but it came out just fine. Another great soup!
Recipe and my modifications are below.
This is a recipe I got at a Weight Watchers meeting years ago...it is very easy to make, and can easily be adapted for different tastes.
Baked Potato Soup
Olive oil (to cover bottom of pot)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 cups chicken broth
1 30 oz. package shredded potatoes (don't get flavored, or cubed; just plain shredded potato)
1 package country gravy mix (I use non-fat)
Salt & pepper to taste
Saute onion, pepper, celery and garlic in olive oil over low-medium heat until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add about 1/2 cup of broth and stir; make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. Turn up heat until soup is bubbly. Add rest of broth, then add frozen potatoes. (Make sure they aren't all in one clump... I bash them on the counter to break them up before I open the package... picture what you would do to bust up a bag of ice before pouring it into the ice chest).
Make sure you have enough broth. You should be able to stir, and the soup should be somewhat thin at this point. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are soft, you are ready to thicken the soup.
Take 1 cup of hot water, and stir in the gravy mix. Make sure you have WHITE gravy (i.e., country gravy), not brown gravy!. Make sure you don't have any lumps, and stir into the soup. Soup should be bubbly, but not boiling before you add the gravy. Make sure you mix the gravy into the soup well. Turn down to a simmer, and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Soup should be very thick now.
Add salt and pepper to taste.The gravy mix has a lot of seasoning in it, so make sure you don't season till after that is in. I also add about 2 tsp. of dried basil. Sometimes I add more garlic powder...just up to the cook!
This is your basic soup. Makes about 10 cups. Without any other additions, it is 1 point per cup, for you WW members out there.
You can top it with shredded cheese, bacon bits and chives, or just have it plain.
Variations: Add a can of creamed corn for corn/potato chowder. Add chopped ham for ham/potato soup. Leave out the garlic if you don't like it. Add more if you do! This is a very flexible recipe...I can't wait to see what all of you do with it.
I skipped the country gravy mix because my store didn't have a non-fat version and the ones they did have were all very high in trans fat.
So when I got to the part of the recipe that says "now it is time to thicken the soup," I used a slotted spoon to remove about a third of the soup solids and pureed them in the blender, then put the puree back in the pot.
Added salt, pepper, and basil and then at the very end, I added a couple of spoonfuls of light Boursin cheese (garlic and herb flavor). Garnished with some chopped green onions. It tasted great!