I’m scheduled to be in the studio photographing products for a new client, but I awoke to a rainy, chilly and a downright dreary day. The light in the studio is dismal at best and I find myself feeling rather eeyore-ish, and as sometimes overheard in the hundred acre wood,
Winnie the Pooh: “I like the puffy white clouds. Aren’t they… that is… oh, my goodness. They’ve turned grey.”
Eeyore: “Never trust a cloud, I always say.”
One of my favorite times to shoot is after a rain storm because the sunlight is naturally diffused by the clouds but it takes some time… like hours for the light to get just right. So as I wait for the rays of sunshine to emerge so I can get to work, I opt to make a pot of soup. But not just any soup. A rich, hearty, decadent soup that will most definitely bring sunshine to this cloudy morning. I came across the recipe when it was posted by a high school friend that I had the good fortune to reconnect with a few years ago via Facebook.
Like so many, fb quickly became my guilty pleasure and easy means for social interaction… from playing the many games, I seriously wanted to buy a real life farm at one time, to spending hours chatting and catching up with old friends. Fortunately I came to my senses and gave up the games and now limit my friends to those I truly know. But I still luv to browse the newsfeed as I sip my morning coffee, sharing in the lives of family and friends via photos, inspirational messages and sometimes as in this case, a delicious recipe!
When scooping out the potato pulp, leave 1/4 inch of the shell and they can be used for baked potato skins. Lightly brush the outside of the potato with olive oil. Fill potato skin with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon bits and green onions and place on baking sheet. Place sheet on the top rack of the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with sour cream or as an accompaniment to the baked potato soup.
recipe inspired by colleen's baked potato soup, published in The Joy of Baja cookbook
- 4-5 large baking potatoes
- 2/3 cup butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 6 cups milk (or to desired consistency)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper, not black
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for a lil' kick!)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash, dry and prick potatoes with a fork. Bake for 1 hour or until done. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out pulp and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat milk on high for 2-3 minutes until hot. Remove bowl and set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
- Add in potato pulp, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons green onion, 3/4 of the crumbled bacon and 1 cup of the cheese. Continue to cook until heated through. Mix in sour cream and add extra milk to thin if necessary.
- Top soup with remaining green onions, bacon and cheese
The soup is now done and I scoop out a bowl of it’s deliciousness. I’m instantly warmed by each spoonful, and reminded of rekindled friendships that brighten my each and every day… much as the sun now fills my studio as it emerges from it’s cloudy cocoon.
Proceeds from the Joy of Baja, Recipes and Stories from our Neighbors’ Tables cookbook benefits the La Mision Children’s Fund which offers resources to address poverty among the children of Baja, California, Mexico. Click here if you would like to purchase a copy.