Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baked Potato soup: Yum!

It was my turn to cook our Monday night family dinner -- a weekly tradition that gets us together with two of our children and their spouses. Monday night dinners are sacrosanct -- you better have a real good reason for not attending.

This week I wanted to try something new, and Baked Potato Soup sounded so warm and inviting. It was a hit, and something I plan on making over and over again. At at 7 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving, I think it's a diet bargain. For our group of six, I doubled the recipe -- and it all went.

1 large garlic bulb, 1/4-inch-slice cut off top
3 lbs. uncooked potatoes, rinsed, pierced with a fork (about 6 large baking potatoes)
6 slices uncooked turkey bacon
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 Tblsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
6 Tblsp. reduced-fat sour cream
6 Tblsp. low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
6 Tbsp scallion(s), sliced

* Preheat oven to 400ºF. Wrap entire garlic bulb tightly in foil; place garlic and potatoes in oven. (You do not need to put them on a pan; they can go right on an oven rack.)
* Bake garlic until soft when squeezed, about 45 minutes; remove from oven and let cool. Continue baking potatoes until tender when pierced, about 15 minutes more; let potatoes stand until cool enough to handle.
* Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 6 minutes. Place bacon on paper towels to drain off any fat; chop bacon.
* Unwrap garlic and squeeze pulp from bulb with hands into a large saucepan. Peel potatoes and add to saucepan; mash with a potato masher until smooth. Gradually stir in broth, thyme, salt and pepper until blended; place saucepan over medium heat and cook until hot, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes.
* Spoon about 1 1/3 cups of soup into each of 6 soup bowls. Top each with 1 tablespoon of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of cheese, 1 rounded tablespoon of bacon and 1 tablespoon of scallions. Grind fresh pepper over top if desired. Makes 6 servings.

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