I like the idea of baked potatoes, but the dish in practice is really a let down. The first few cheesy, bacony, oniony bites are delicious and then it just tastes like dry diet food. Bummer.
Thankfully, Deb from Smitten Kitchen feels similarly. I followed her recipe for baked potato soup and it was awesome. This recipe combines all of the great flavors of a baked potato but skirts around all the boring parts. Perfect!
Baked Potato Soup
2 T butter
2 leeks, halved and sliced then rinsed of their grit
1 head garlic
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup sour cream
Bacon, green onions, cheddar cheese, sour cream for toppings
Halve the leeks and then thinly slice them. Rinse them of their grit. Cut the top 1/3 off the entire garlic head. Squeeze the cloves out of the top 1/3 and mince them. Peal the thin wispy layers off the bottom 2/3 of the garlic and set aside. Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute for 5 minutes, until softened. Add minced garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add the broth, bay leaves, and head of garlic. Cook over medium heat for 40 minutes or until the garlic head is soft.
Add the cubed potatoes. Cook for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Remove the garlic and bay leaves. Puree the soup for a minute or two with an immersion blender. I left some potato chunks, but you can puree it as smooth as you’d like. Add the sour cream and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Top with your favorite baked potato toppings and enjoy!