Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ pound butter
  • 2 cups yellow onion diced
  • 1 large stalk celery small dice
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup instant potato flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¾ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 3 large white mushrooms diced; optional
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sliced scallions
  • bacon cooked until crisp; diced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prick washed potatoes and bake in a preheated 400°F oven until a fork pierces to the center easily. Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool completely. Remove skin and cut potatoes into ½-1" cubes. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a 4½ quart stockpot. Add onions and celery and sauté over low heat for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Don’t allow onions to burn. Add flour to onions and butter and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring well until flour is absorbed.
  3. In a separate container, combine chicken broth, potato flakes and seasonings. Stir or whisk thoroughly to eliminate lumps. Add slowly to onion mixture, stirring constantly so no lumps form. Increase to medium heat and continue cooking until the soup begins to simmer gently. Add mushrooms if using. Add milk and cream, stirring until smooth and lightly thickened. Simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil. Soup should just simmer lightly. Add cubed baked potatoes and stir to combine.
  4. Remove from heat and serve. Top each serving with grated cheddar cheese, sliced scallions and bacon pieces.