Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup

There is something about this time of year I love, and no it is not all the hustle and bustle at work or trying to get everything completed before the holidays. It’s actually a bowl of soup. Yep, pretty dang simple over here. I will have to admit however that my appetite or at least the ‘crave’ component is not what it was in the past. I blame cancer for that, but it is what it is. When I do get that urge though, I could not be more happy than with a bowl of soup. This is one of those recipes, the loaded steakhouse potato soup. Why steakhouse? When I think steak house, or supper club for those of us in Wisconsin, I think of not only a great steak, but that baked potato, those mushrooms, bacon wrapped whatever, and so I decided to make this style of soup for my daughter, only because she loves mushrooms and I wanted to bring that meatiness to the soup without the meat. Well, there’s bacon, but c’mon….

Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup Recipe
Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup Recipe

This has everything I love about a visit to a supper club, plus a great use of kale from my last harvest.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 russet potatoes, cleaned
  • 16 oz fresh cremini mushrooms, cleaned, and quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 slices of your favorite bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 7 cups of milk
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • water
  • 1 cup stock, optional

Now the only two choices you have at this time is do I leave the skin on, or remove the skin from the potatoes or do I boil or roast them? I’ll leave that to you. Me, I’m skin on and boil. The rest of the family is skin off. I’m out numbered so I leave one with the skin on.

Start by adding the potatoes to large pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook just until slightly tender, about 12-18 minutes. Once cooked, strain, cool, then cut into bite sized pieces. The potato will break down a bit to thicken the soup when you are ready to rock and roll.

During this time, cook the bacon. If you know me, I’m a fan of Nueske’s. Best stuff out there in my opinion. Once cooked, reserve the bacon fat, but remove the bacon and coarsely chop it.

Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup Recipe Ingredients
Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup Recipe Ingredients

If that was not enough for you, get another pan on the stove on medium heat, add a bit of that bacon fat, then toss in the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and get them nice and caramelized. There’s something about caramelized mushrooms if you know what I’m saying. Once those begin to caramelize, toss in the garlic, and kale. Give that a good toss, and remove from the heat.

SOUP ON!

Get your stock or soup pot on the stove on medium heat. Add all that bacon fat, then stir in the flour. Cook the flour and continue to stir for about 3-5 minutes, if that. You just want to cook the rawness from that flour.

Pour in the milk, continue to stir so that you break up the clumps of flour. This is your base for the soup. This will take about 10-12 minutes or so. You will see it get to a thickening state. If you want it thinner, add a bit of stock (optional).

Now add in your potatoes, and stir. Next add in the mushroom and kale mixture and give another good stir. Reduce to a simmer.

Now you are ready to serve. Ladle the soup into your bowls. garnish with cheese and bacon and dig in! This soup screams everything. Actually everyone who ate it was quiet (which is always a good thing)! You get everything comforting from the creaminess and the potato, then the crisp bacon pieces and awesome cheese note. Then what? KALE? Heck yeah, kale brings this over the top, and makes your feel good about yourself after that bowl (or two) of soup.

It’s a winning soup. It is the Loaded Steakhouse Potato Soup. Stay warm my friends.

 

Bacon Fried Corn

I think corn is officially done at our farmer’s market. It’s sad in a way as nothing screams summer like great tomatoes and really good corn. I loaded up pretty much every weekend, when I could, and brought the corn home. We would have a couple of ears for dinner, and I would shave the rest down to save the kernels for later use this winter. As I was recently planning dinner, an activity that I seem the only one to be able to manage, I decided to use up some of those fresh kernels and come up with a fried bacon and corn side dish.

This southern style dish is sure to please anyone and it was a great side dish and super easy to make.

Bacon Fried Corn Recipe
Bacon Fried Corn Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of your favorite bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 2 tbsp reserved bacon fat
  • 3 ears of corn, or enough kernels to make about 2 cups
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Chopped chives

Start by cooking your bacon, and cook until it is crisp. Remove the bacon onto a paper lined plate, and reserve about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Return the skillet on medium-low heat and add in the corn. Stir, and cook the corn for a few minutes, continuing to stir to warm the corn through. Season with a generous pinch of salt and cracked black pepper.

Bacon Fried Corn Ingredients
Bacon Fried Corn Ingredients

Once the corn has softened a bit, add in the milk, stir again to warm the milk through. Add in the chopped bacon, and give that a stir. Place the corn mixture into a serving dish and garnish with chopped chives. Get ready to dig in.

The end result is a slightly creamy corn with a great smoky flavor from the bacon. It’s a great use of that last of the summertime corn and is a perfect side dish, or heck even a main dish for that matter. Hope you enjoy!

 

Caldo Verde

Caldo verde essentially translates to green broth, or in my case one delicious Portuguese soup. I have kind of made it a mission to make soup once a week, however I should probably make it a few times a week, but there are really only three of us soup eaters in the family at this point in time. Typically when I make soup, it tends to feed an army and hence why I probably only make it once a week. Caldo verde is loaded with awesomeness. It is essentially a soup made with greens, chicken stock, and typically some smoked sausage. I actually jazz mine up a bit adding a bit of bacon, and a handful of beans, but that kind of breaks some of that traditional soup, so those are optional if you are wanting to make it.

Caldo Verde Soup Recipe
Caldo Verde Soup Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 2 russet potatoes, peel and cut into cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 7 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 bunch of collard greens, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 ring of smoked sausage (I used kielbasa) sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • handful of red beans, optional
  • salt to taste
  • a good loaf of crusty bread

Start by getting a large pot, or dutch oven heating on medium heat.

Add in the olive oil, garlic, shallots, and onion. Cook for about 7 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary, just to sweat the onions. Next add in the russet potatoes and chicken stock, and cook on medium heat for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Ingredients for making Caldo Verde
Ingredients for making Caldo Verde

Once the potatoes are tender, ladle this mixture into your blender. Please note that whenever you are adding hot stuff into a blender, do not fill it all of the way up, and always use a towel to cover the top lid. Pressure builds up doing this and I would not want you having hot soup all over your kitchen!

Blend the mixture into a smooth consistency. Do this in batches if you have to. Once you have a smooth mixture, return it back to the pot on the stove. Add the beans if you are using them. Bring the soup to a medium-low heat, and during this time cooke your bacon. I like to add in the sliced kielbasa as well when cooking the bacon to get it a bit crisp.

Add the kielbasa, cooked and crumbled bacon, Yukon potatoes, and ribbons of collard greens to the soup, and cook until the potatoes are for tender. Season with any salt, to taste, if you desire.

Ladle into your soup bowls, keep your head down, and dig in! This soup is super comforting and perfect on any winter day. Serve with some nice rustic bread for dipping and repeat! Enjoy.

Loaded Baked Potato Muffins

With one of my most recent recipes, the pizza muffins, I kept thinking as to what to make using the muffin tins as the pizza muffins were such a huge hit. To me the muffin tin is a bit like the waffle iron. As soon as you start tinkering and making great things with the waffle iron, then it gets you thinking of other creative ideas, much like the muffin tin. So with a recent Sunday meal, and one of my favorite meals of all time (chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn), I decided to come up with a twist of the mashed potatoes, and use the muffin tin to make loaded mashed potato muffins. Talk about crazy good, this is it!

Loaded Baked Potato Muffins
Loaded Baked Potato Muffins Recipe

First let me start by saying that I love mashed potatoes, but really love loaded mashed potatoes. Maybe it’s the texture of the bacon, or heck maybe it is just the bacon, but the combination of everything really made this meal shine.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes, skins peeled and removed, and cut into cubes
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • cooking spray

Start by adding your potatoes to a pot of cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until fork tender, about 25 minutes or so.

During this time, cook your bacon, and slice your green onions.

When the potatoes are tender, strain them and return them back to the heat to evaporate any remaining water. Once evaporated, season with salt and pepper, and mash them however you desire. I use a ricer on mine as I like the nice, and smooth texture.  Add the potatoes to a mixing bowl, and add in the bacon, butter, and green onions. Give this a good mix, then taste and adjust any salt or pepper to your liking.

 

Loaded Baked Potato Muffin Ingredients
Loaded Baked Potato Muffin Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. During this time, spray the inside of the muffin tins with the cooking spray. Spoon the loaded mashed potatoes into each muffin tin, about 90% to the top. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese, then place into the oven for about 20 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt and somewhat crisp up.

Remove from the oven, and serve. To remove the muffins, I used an offset spatula, but you can use a butter knife to work your way around each muffin tin, and gently lift out. If some get stuck, don’t worry as it’s going down with the rest of your meal.

These things were awesome. Everything I loved about a loaded baked potato but in muffin form. What’s not to love about that! The muffin tin pulled through once again, and that made this cook a very happy person. Hope you enjoy!