Nov 8, 2012

Copy Cat Recipe - Chili's Loaded Baked Potato Soup





With both of my children at school now, my husband and I have been trying to have our dates for lunch since it helps the budget to not pay for a babysitter on top of eating out or an activity.  Our last lunch date was to Chili's and we both fell in love with their Loaded Baked Potato Soup.  I came home and immediately pinned this copy cat recipe to try later.  That later was yesterday for lunch but it was a last minute decision and I hadn't read the full recipe before I started making it.  That can be a problem when it calls for you to bake potatoes for an hour before making the soup.  Solution:  THRIVE!  We pulled out our THRIVE FD Diced Potatoes and the soup was ready in less than 30 minutes.  Interested to try it for yourself?   Of course, if you prefer to spend an hour baking potatoes then burning your hand trying to scoop out the middle, you are welcome to use real potatoes :)

Warning:  It was so delicious that my husband declined the leftovers I was serving for dinner and ate another large bowl of the soup (leaving me just a few spoonfuls for today's lunch).  Next time I may have to double this recipe.

THRIVE'd Copy Cat Recipe
Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Soup
3 T butter
6 T THRIVE Chopped Onions*
2 T flour
4 t THRIVE Chicken Bouillon
6 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups prepared THRIVE Potato Beads**
1 t salt
3/4 t pepper
1/2 t basil
1/8 t thyme
2 cup heavy whipping cream***
1 1/2 cup THRIVE Freeze Dried Chopped Potatoes

Garnish
 1/2 cup THRIVE Cheddar Cheese (rehydrated)****
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon*****

2 green onions, chopped (green part only) OR 1/4 cup THRIVE Freeze Dried Green Onions

Instructions
1.  You can rehydrate your dehydrated onions for just a few moments in water if you prefer.  Melt butter in large pot and saute onions until light brown.  Add flour to the onions and stir to make a roux.
2.  Add water, chicken bouillon, cornstarch, mashed potatoes and spices and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3.  Add FD Potatoes and heavy whipping cream to pot and bring back to a boil.  Then reduce heat and simmer the soup for another 15 minutes or until potatoes have hydrated.
4.  Spoon into bowls and top with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, bacon and green onions.

Notes:
* I used the dehydrated onions from THRIVE because I didn't want large chunks of onion.  You could also use the THRIVE Freeze Dried Chopped Onions.
** The measurement is for after preparing, not the quantity of Potato Beads from the can.  You can also substitute your preferred instant mashed potatoes.
***The original recipe I was using called for half and half but I had heavy whipping cream already so I used that.  I also increased the amount of the heavy cream to allow for reconstituting the FD Potatoes.
****I actually used cheese from my grocery store this time.  Both will work.
***** I used 4 slices of bacon and didn't measure.  For a shelf stable recipe or didn't have bacon in your refrigerator, you could use bacon bits.
******I was out of fresh green onions, and haven't gotten any of the new THRIVE FD Green Onions yet (even as a consultant, I just can't everything right away but the Green Onions are on my list to get soon.)  The 1/4 cup of the FD Green Onions is an estimate. You'll want to play with that quantity to rehydrate the right amount for your family's taste preferences.

I think this recipe would also be good if I added a handful of THRIVE FD Sweet Corn (note the exactness of my measurement there).