Monday, January 25, 2010

Loaded Baked Potato Chowder

This is another really simple delicious soup. It's actually a Pampered Chef recipe, which means it's GOTTA be good! If you have a deep dish baker stone with a lid, you can actually make this in the microwave!!! Even better! If not, just cook it in a pan. Just make sure you cook the potatoes slower than in the microwave or you'll burn it (I know from experience=).

Loaded Baked Potato Chowder

2 1/2 lbs potatoes (scrubbed or peeled, whichever you prefer)
3 1/2 cups milk
4 oz cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat), softened
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sliced green onions
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Optional toppings: cooked, chopped bacon, sour cream, steamed broccoli florets, grated cheese for the top, green onions for the top

1. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise; place in Deep Covered Baker. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk over potatoes. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 11 minutes. Remove baker from microwave. Move center potatoes to ends of baker and outer potatoes to center. Cover; microwave on HIGH 8-11 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove baker from microwave. Coarsely mash potatoes with Mix ‘N Chop or pastry blender.

2. Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese until smooth in a medium sized bowl. Slowly add remaining 3 cups milk (I put in microwave for 30 sec-1 min for better blending), whisk until smooth.
Add cream cheese mixture and butter to potatoes.
Microwave, covered, on high 3-5 minutes or until mixture is hot.

3. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Add cheddar cheese to chowder and stir until melted. Stir in green onions, salt and pepper. Serve with toppings, if desired.

Yields 6 servings (8 cups)