When I was a child, we showed horses. Some of the fondest memories of my life were during this time. Believe it or not, this recipe was inspired by these fond horsey memories. I remember going to the Quarter Horse Youth World Show in Fort Worth and ordering these HUGE, loaded baked potatoes. As memory serves, you could top them with whatever incredible topping you wanted. I would load it up with bacon and cheese (of course) and broccoli. Amazing!
This fabulous soup is that loaded baked potato in a bowl. My five year old loved this recipe and typically doesn’t like soup (just as a rule). She is going through a phase where she tells you that she is allergic to things that she doesn’t want to eat (water allergy, anyone?) and she proclaimed that she wasn’t even allergic to this. This rich soup is a winner in my house (of course, bacon and cheese helped). I served this with a pretzel roll but any crusty bread would be delicious.
- 4 C chicken broth
- 1 C carrots, diced small
- 1/2 C celery, diced small
- 3 C peeled potatoes, diced small
- 5 C broccoli crowns, diced small
- 6 slices bacon, chopped (I use kitchen shears)
- 1/3 C flour
- 3 C milk
- 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, combine the broth, carrots, celery and potatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to medium. Cook 10 minutes.
- Add the broccoli to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes.
- In a separate medium saucepan, cook the bacon. Once it is nice and crisp, move the bacon to drain.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden, stirring constantly. A little at a time, whisk in the milk and cook until the mixture has thickened.
- Stir in the cheese one handful at a time, adding another once the cheese has melted.
- Slowly stir the cheese sauce into the vegetables, whisk to combine well. Add the bacon and salt and pepper to taste. I only added a little pepper but didn’t need any salt for my taste.