Loaded Potato Soup

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I got my first cold of the season this week, so I was really grateful when I felt well enough to be up and cooking for my family again last night. I had plenty of organic russet potatoes in the pantry and homemade chicken stock taking up space in my freezer;  and even though it’s not exactly cold and gloomy here – it is dark and rainy! I pinned this recipe from The Pioneer Woman and went with it because she rarely steers me wrong.

Verdict: This was really tasty and the whole family enjoyed it – even my picky daughter! I served this with Parmesan garlic bread because what is soup with out some extra carbs for dunking? ( I will share that new recipe with you all soon). I will make this again and it makes a big batch and would be perfect for potlucks or to split and bring to a family in need. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Perfect Potato Soup – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
  • 3 stalks Celery, Diced
  • 6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
  • 8 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  •  Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Chives or parsley
  • 1 cup Grated Cheddar

Directions –

Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.

Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in a blender/food process until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.

Serve in bowls garnished with chives, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.

Chicken Pot Pie

I have been planning this meal for some time. It’s one of our favorites and I haven’t been able to make it for several months. Pot pies don’t go well with nasty, humid weather. Fall is my very favorite time of year because it goes hand in hand with comfort foods. It would be nice if the weather would cooperate with the time of year! Oh, to live in a place with four distinct seasons…I have yet to know what that is like. Although, areas where there is an actual visible transition into Fall usually equals really cold and long winters…I couldn’t handle that. I get cold when it’s below 75 degrees!

I used two different recipes to make this pot pie – one from Food.com and the other is an Ina Garten recipe. This is my first attempt at making pastry dough. The food processor makes it super quick and easy, but as with most types of dough, this one can be a little fussy. Everything has to be ice-cold and you can’t over work it or it will become tough. Of course I could have just picked up store-bought pie dough today, but I like the challenge because lately I have really enjoyed making as many meals from scratch as possible.

The pastry dough turned out so flaky and flavorful – there is nothing better than a first try turning out well. Everyone enjoyed this, even S told me “thank you” tonight – she’s my picky eater. I know this recipe has lots of steps, but take the help where you can get it – buy a rotisserie chicken and pre-made pie dough. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Roasted Chicken – adapted from Ina Garten

  • 4 bone in skin on chicken breasts – about 4 pounds
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Shred or dice the chicken. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

Pastry Dough – adapted from Ina Garten

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie – adapted from Food.com

  • 2 cups potato, diced
  • 1.5 cups onion, diced
  • 1.5 cups celery, diced
  • 1.5 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups half and half
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups roasted chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 pie crusts (either store-bought or your own recipe)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Saute onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for about 10 minutes. Add flour to sautéed mixture, stirring well. Cook one minute stirring constantly.Combine broth and half and half.Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.Stir in salt and pepper; add chicken and stir well.Pour into one 13 x 9 casserole dish and top with pastry dough. Cut slits to allow steam to escape. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly.