'Can't-miss, chunky soup' from baked potatoes Recipe Finder


November 03, 1999|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Sun Staff

Marie K. Louder of Verona, Pa., requested a recipe for "Houlihan's Baked-Potato Soup." Her response came from Evelyn R. Boss of Towson.

Boss wrote that she used to live in the Pittsburgh area and got the recipe from the Pittsburgh Press/Post Gazette years ago. "My family was, and still is, a great fan of this soup," she said.

Tester Laura Reiley said the result is a "can't-miss, chunky soup" and is a good way to use leftover baked potatoes. "You'll still spend some time in the kitchen simmering, but it's worth it," she said.

Recipe requests

* Bill Brigerman of Baltimore wants a recipe for Polish bow ties.

* Michael Hutchens of Westminster is seeking a recipe for Con Queso, which is served at La Paz restaurant in Frederick. "The dish is wonderful, and we'd love to duplicate it," he wrote.

* Cindy Temple of Bordentown, N.J., is looking for a recipe for a hamburger dish that she remembers from a neighborhood tavern her parents took her to 40 years ago. She said the owners were German, and the grandmother, who was the cook, made the "most incredibly delicious hamburgers. I believe they were made of beef, pork and veal cooked in a gravy with sauerkraut."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

Houlihan's Baked-Potato Soup

Makes approximately 1 gallon, or 6 to 8 servings

1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes (about 2 large)

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter

2 cups diced yellow onion

1/3 cup flour

5 cups water

1/4 cup low-salt chicken base (see tester's comments)

1 cup instant potato flakes

3/4 teaspoon dried basil flakes

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco

salt and white pepper, to taste

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

grated mild Cheddar cheese for garnish, if desired

sliced scallions for garnish, if desired

Wash potatoes, prick skins and then bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until a fork pierces to the center easily. Remove potatoes from oven and allow to fully cool.

Remove skin and cut potatoes into 1/2 -inch cubes. Set aside. Use smaller potatoes if you want to save on baking time.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions and saute over low heat for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Do not allow onions to burn. Add flour to onions and butter, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring well until flour is absorbed.

In a separate container, combine water, chicken base, potato flakes, basil, Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. Stir or whisk thoroughly to eliminate lumps. It will thicken. Add slowly to onion mixture, stirring constantly so no lumps form. Increase to medium heat and continue cooking until the soup begins to gently simmer. Add cream and milk, stirring until smooth and lightly thickened. Simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil. Soup should just simmer lightly. Add cubed baked potatoes and stir to combine. Remove from heat and serve. Houlihan's suggests topping individual bowls with grated mild Cheddar cheese and sliced scallions.

Tester Reiley's comments: "Microwaving the potatoes cuts down significantly on preparation time, and the results are exactly the same. I used Better Than Bouillon chicken base, but really any low-salt bouillon cubes or powder would work. If you have homemade chicken stock, substitute 5 cups of that for the water and omit the chicken base.

"The soup is thick, very creamy and smooth, with toothsome chunks of baked potato floating throughout. It reheats nicely on top of the stove or in the microwave.

"If it gets too thick, add a bit more milk. The Tabasco is not really perceptible, nor is the basil flavor. If you desire a spicier soup, be more liberal with the Tabasco."

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