What do you do when you’re tired of the same old but everyone around you still insist on it. Make it different and wait for the backlash, or make it the same in a new way? After a summer of BBQ, (actually it’s a way of life around here), I get bored of the classic baked potato yet everyone still expects it to make a showing on the table.
Fall has hit quickly in Toronto and the chill is on us. The baseball season is at end and the playoffs are in sight. So using a ball euphemism, I decided to develop a baked potato curve ball.
Taking the task partially outside I created a Full Loaded Baked Potato Soup. Yes extreme, yes filling, and yes wonderfully satisfying. Each year we celebrate a Canadian Thanksgiving outside and on a farm in Northern Ontario. My responsibility, the tailgate! With the temperature dropping I think that this will make a good addition to the food so I decided to experiment first.
When making soup, I prefer to roast off my vegetables first instead of just sticking them in the stock to cook. To me it brings out more of the natural sugars and taste in the base flavour. So not to break my tradition, I roasted off 6 Russets and the carrots for my stock first. When they were soft and ready, I sautéed half an onion and celery in a large stock pot with olive oil until they were soft and translucent. Rough chopped 4 of the potatoes and the carrots and Added them to the pot with, garlic, salt and pepper and 3 bay leaves. Topped the whole thing off with 2 liters of chicken stock and let it simmer for an hour. I threw in two tablespoons of a BBQ rub that I had made to bring some of the outdoor spice and aroma to the soup.
After the hour the stock was blended down to a smooth consistency ( after taking out the bay leaves), placed back in the stock pot and put on low. The remaining two potatoes were rough chopped into bit size pieces and joined the other happy elements in the soup. Keep extra chicken stock around and if it’s too thick for you, thin it out to your liking with some extra.
Finished with sour cream, crisp fried bacon, chopped green onion, and shredded cheddar for the fully loaded part. Take a look. It feels like soup to the mouth but tastes like a baked potato.
Putting a different spin or preparation on an old favourite is a way to break from the norm but still fill the need of the comfort you and your family get from the staple.
I remember a teacher from high school giving me instruction on how to look at a situation.
- Leave it the same.
- Remove it completely.
- Rearrange it.
- Take away from it.
- Add to it.
That’s how to keep an old favourite from creeping into mundane territory.
What can you do to your standard and give it new life?
Be well and eat well
PS. I think the family will like this at Thanksgiving!