Tuesday, October 2, 2012
How NOT to make baked potato soup
I have spent the last ten years trying to recreate the baked potato soup from Saltgrass Steakhouse. I clearly remember my mom and I shared a bowl of this heavenly concoction after Lindsey's state Bible Drill competition (so she was in 5th or 6th grade- now she is a college senior) and I was floored by how good it was. It was a broth based soup with big, soft chunks of potatoes, exquisitely garnished with all my favorite toppings. It wasn't too heavy or thick. It was perfect.
Here is a record through my journey trying to create the perfect baked potato soup on a cool night. Do NOT attempt this at home.
1. Decide that all previously made baked potato soup recipes turned out too thick. Attribute said problem to the use of a roux.
2. Do NOT research any Saltgrass copycat recipes (or any kind of recipe that does not use a roux). Create battle plan and get started.
3. Bake 4 small potatoes at 350 for 1 hour. Be sure to cut off the little stems growing on them because they've been in your pantry for a month (relax, y'all, potatoes stay good for a very long time). Decide that using aluminum foil isn't necessary because, uh, you don't have any. Forget to poke holes in them.
4. Once baked, peel potatoes and scoop out scalding hot insides. Burn your fingertips to the point of numbness.
5. Realize that you don't have any kind of broth in your kitchen and instead mix together water and chicken bouillon. Heat "broth" over medium heat and add potato chunks. Season with everything on the spice cabinet that sounds good and throw in some half and half for good measure.
6. Discover that the potatoes are still kinda hard and the soup is too thin. Fish out half of the potatoes, mash them with a fork, and mix them back into the soup.
7. When the soup is still not creamy enough, mix in a couple of scoops of Greek yogurt. Grimace at the weird yogurt chunks that refuse to mix into the soup.
8. Get really frustrated with the entire process and pour the entire pot into the blender. Blend that sucker up.
9. Pour back into pot at the rate molasses moves because now the soup is the consistency of really soft mashed potatoes. Pour yourself a bowl anyway. Resign yourself to just add milk to each individual serving to find the desired consistency.
10. Add shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon and sour cream. Devour. Good enough this time!
11. Find this video and kick yourself. The end.
My version actually didn't turn out bad- it was pretty tasty!- just wasn't what I set out to do. Lesson learned! Anyone else find yourself kitchen-challenged sometimes?