Nothing hits the spot quite like a silky smooth potato soup in the cool autumn and winter months. The best thing about potato soup is that to make it, you can toss all the ingredients into a crock pot, leave it alone, and check on it after a few hours. However, with potatoes, the prep work can get tedious –- especially if you are making a big batch and have to peel and dice a bunch of spuds. Instead, a good way to avoid the hassle of peeling and chopping potatoes is to go with the more hands-off method of baking them in the oven.
While baking potatoes technically takes longer than boiling them, you can bake them whole with the skins on and won't have to worry about any prep work. Plus, when baking potatoes, you won't have to watch the pot to ensure it doesn't boil over. This means you can spend that time doing something else, like dicing and cooking your onions or even preparing another side dish for the potato soup. Baked beans, sautéed asparagus, and garlic bread are all great sides for almost any hearty potato-based soup.
Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid
How To Bake Potatoes For A Rich And Creamy Soup
To start, you want to scrub your spuds until there is no dirt on them, and then poke a few holes in each one to allow the juices to escape while baking. Then, follow the instructions of your favorite classic baked potato recipe to get that nice crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside potato –- 50 minutes to an hour at 425 F should do the trick. Once you bake the potatoes, let them cool until you can hold them comfortably. Then, cut them in half length-wise and, with a spoon, scoop the soft insides into your slow cooker or soup pot. With baked potatoes, there's no need to mash them or put them in a food processor because they should be fall-apart soft already.
Also, if you don't have time to bake potatoes the day of, you can always bake them earlier in the week. Baked potatoes stay good in the fridge for three to four days, and new research shows that letting potatoes cool in the refrigerator before reheating is actually pretty healthy. This is because potatoes that have been chilled form a new type of resistant starch that is good for your gut microbiome and helps keep you fuller for longer.
Put A Professional Twist On Your Baked Potato Soup
Because potatoes are so versatile and can work with many flavor combinations, it is no surprise that potato soup comes in many varieties. If you are looking for a new and exciting twist on your classic potato soup, looking at tried-and-tested recipes from professional cooks is an excellent way to get some inspiration.
If you like simple but elegant flavors, try Julia Child's favorite soup, a simple but classy potato and leek soup. If you are looking for a potato soup with that restaurant-quality cheese and sour-cream-covered baked potato flavor, Guy Fieri has you covered with his fully loaded baked potato soup. He even adds some applewood smoked bacon bits for that extra savory pizazz. If you are going for cheesy and hearty, try Martha Stewart's potato broccoli and cheddar soup, which takes classic broccoli and cheddar and amps up the thick potato-y goodness.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.