Sunday, April 3, 2016
Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Potato Skins
I do have to say, though, that this soup was not my favorite. It's not broccoli cheddar soup, it's just broccoli. Broccoli is not my number one fave vegetable, and I think it has to be for this soup to be fully appreciated. It's just very broccoli-y. It doesn't even have vegetable broth to temper all that broccoli - it just has water and a couple tablespoons of half-and-half. It's supposed to be have bacon in it, so maybe that's the flavor I was missing out on (I did cook some and crumble it on Jesse's bowl, and he did like the soup, so that could explain things; in fact I sent him home with all the leftovers), but for me, I have plenty of other broccoli soup recipes that I appreciate a bit more. I will stick with broccoli cheddar and broccoli and cheese with noodles instead. But if you try this with the bacon, I will be curious to hear what you and your family thought.
But the cheddar potato skins! Oh these were great. And they are much easier and faster than you would expect. The secret is to microwave them for 8-10 minutes instead of baking them (that's how this meal can go from idea to table in under an hour). Then you scoop out most of the flesh and use it in the soup (symbiotic relationship!), and bake them on both sides to crisp them, adding cheese to the top for the last bake. They could not be simpler, but they were delicious and by far stole the show from the soup.
broccoli soup with cheddar potato skins
from March 2016 Food Network Magazine
4 medium russet potatoes
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head broccoli, florets chopped (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave until cooked through, 8 - 10 minutes. Cook the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-heat, stirring until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon. Add the onion to the pot with the drippings and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Quarter the potatoes lengthwise and scoop out most of the flesh; set aside. Arrange the potatoes skin side up on the baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
3) While potatoes are cooking, add the potato flesh, 6 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper to the pot with the onion, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the broccoli is tender, about 8 minutes. Working in small batches, puree in a blender, or use an immersion blender. Stir in the half-and-half and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4) Remove the potato skins from the oven; flip and top with the cheese. Continue baking until bubbling and golden. Top each serving of soup with the bacon and serve with potato skins.