Friday, February 19, 2010

Five Dollar Friday: Baked Potato Soup

This is a very simple but amazing soup and one of the first recipes I ever collected. I got this from a sweet mom I used to babysit for while in college in Austin, Texas (Hook 'Em Horns!). It's a great meal to feed a crowd or take to a family with a new baby, too.

The soup served with a side salad with feed my family two times (love to cook once and eat twice!) making the final cost $10. You can decrease that price if you leave off the optional garnishes. But to me, they are what make it a baked potato soup rather than a basic potato soup so I included them in the final price. Also you can make this from start to dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. Another huge bonus in my book.

Baked Potato Soup
(and simple green side salad)

7 cups of peeled, diced and cooked potatoes
1 stick butter
2/3 cup flour
5 cups of milk
16 oz sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

1 lb bacon chopped and cooked for bacon bits
8 oz shredded cheese
fresh chives, chopped very fine

1. Melt butter and add flour gradually; stir until smooth.
2. Continue cooking for one minute stirring constantly.
3. Gradually whisk in milk and continue cooking over medium heat until mixture thickens. Stir frequently.
4. Add sour cream, potatoes, pepper and salt.
5. Serve with cheese, bacon bits and chopped chives on top.

* Here are some thoughts about this recipe:

Earlier in the day peel and chop your potatoes. If you have time go ahead and cook them. If not, store in a bowl of cold water and they won't oxidize. You can use more or less potatoes, just depending on your preferences. Also, I only use full fat sour cream because the low fat stuff usually has additives. In addition, my store has two versions of their regular sour cream. One that says "All Natural" and one that doesn't. They cost the same but the ingredient list is "clean" on one and not so on the other. Read those labels. :) For the milk in this recipe I use 2% because you still get plenty of richness (especially using regular sour cream) but not so much fat. I have been known to make it with whole milk when taking a batch to friends (Shhh!! Don't tell them. ;) Salt the water you cook the potatoes in because it will season the potatoes well and you won't need as much at the end. I prefer to use sharp or even extra sharp cheddar because you get "more bang for the buck". Last I always check the natural/uncured bacon (no nitrates/nitrites) in my store. When it gets near the expiration date they put it on sale half price and I buy lots and keep it in the freezer.

Cost breakdown: $10.00 (nice when it works out so evenly!)

$ 1.00 - potatoes from a bulk bag purchased on sale
$ 1.00 - 16 oz. all natural sour cream purchased on sale
$ .95 - 5 cups of milk
$ 1.25 - 8 oz bag of fancy shredded sharp cheddar cheese - sale price
$ 2.50 - 1 lb thick sliced bacon
$ .50 - 1 stick butter
$ .10 - 2/3 cup flour
$ 2.00 bag of mixed greens (use 1/2 bag for first meal and the other half for the second time
around) I can often get this on sale cheaper but this particular day I had no such luck.
$ .50 roma tomatoes at $.99 a lb
$ .20 balsamic dressing from a bottle purchased for $1.00
$ .20 fresh chopped chives

P.S. ~K.N. this is for you! :)


Kelly said...

Ha! I was so excited to see it was another $5 meal! Comes at an especially good time as Jason and I created our new budget tonight and the grocery budget is tight! And I especially love your thoughts about the recipe...I can use all the tips I can get! Thank you! :)

Just His Best said...

I've been looking for meal ideas like these! Keep 'em coming!!!

Thank you. :)

Brenda @ Tie That Binds Us said...

Looks great! Thanks for sharing.