If I were to be honest with you, I would confess that there are many nights I struggle with inspiration to get dinner on the table. This is mostly due to exhaustion from playing with my son or managing our household all day while my daughters are at school. Some days it is just easier to order a pizza and call it dinner. The truth is that exhaustion occasionally wins and my family misses out on the opportunity to eat a home cooked meal.
But today as I walked around Green Lake and enjoyed a beautiful fall day, I was inspired by the crisp cool air and began thinking about comfort food. My thoughts were flooded with images of serving baked potatoes topped with sour cream, cheese, chives and bacon. The anxiety of not knowing what to do for dinner washed away as I developed a vision.
I headed straight to the grocery store from the lake to buy everything I needed to make baked potato soup. The problem is that I didn’t get home until 5:30 p.m., so unless I was going to make everyone wait until 7:00 p.m. it was clear there would be no baked potatoes, a key ingredient to this soup. Instead, I started to think outside the box and decided on a slight variation of the soup and eventually decided on making this Loaded Potato Chowder.
Incorporating common elements of a traditional baked potato, this chowder is comforting, satisfying and delicious. I knew this chowder was a winner when both of my daughters had seconds.
I felt victorious with yet another home cooked meal. This chowder is a keeper and just what I needed. Not sure what we’ll do tomorrow, but I’m taking it one day at a time.
Recipe: Loaded Potato Chowder
A hearty and flavorful chowder inspired by baked potato soup.
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups half and half
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- chopped chives
- Cut the uncooked bacon in small pieces. Heat a heavy pan and fry the bacon pieces until crisp. Remove the bacon bits to a plate lined with a paper towel. Take a paper towel and soak up all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and discard.
- Saute the onion, garlic, and thyme for 5 minutes until the onion is soft and tender. Stir in the dry sherry and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, half and half, and bouillon. Bring the broth to a boil. Add the potatoes and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot and allow the soup to cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- To serve the soup, top each bowl with a couple spoonfuls of shredded cheese, sour cream, bacon pieces, and chives.