In its normal restaurant iteration, this is the only soup that can compete with broccoli-Cheddar soup or clam chowder in terms of sheer caloric impact. Most versions you’ll find start with a base of heavy cream, making for a bowl that can easily pack 400 calories or more. We slice the calories dramatically by switching to chicken stock as the foundation, then adding a splash of half-and-half. The creamy potato flavor still shines through, and the bacon, cheese, and Tabasco give it the indulgent taste of a fully loaded spud. Add a bowl of mixed greens tossed with olive oil and balsamic and you’ve got dinner.
Makes 4 servings
3 strips bacon, sliced
4 scallions, whites and greens separated, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp flour
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or a mix of stock and water)
2 medium russet potatoes, baked (leftover potatoes work great here)
1/2 cup half-and-half
Salt and black pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
9 g fat (4 g saturated)
650 mg sodium
How to Make It
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for about 5 minutes, until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Discard all but a thin film of the bacon fat. Add the scallion whites and garlic to the pot and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant and the scallions are translucent. Add the flour and stir to coat the ingredients. Pour in the stock, whisking to help prevent any lumps from forming.
Remove the peel from one of the potatoes, chop, and add to the pot. Use a potato masher to smash the potato into the broth. (For a smoother, more uniform soup, you can puree the soup in a blender.) Cube the other potato, leaving the peel on, and add to the soup, along with the half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat all the way down and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with the bacon, scallion greens, a bit of cheese, and a few shakes of Tabasco.