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Machine Shed baked potato soup

Lisa Prater 01/08/2013 @ 9:20am

The Machine Shed is a wonderful restaurant with locations around the Midwest, including in Urbandale, which isn't too far from my place. It's a great place to go for Sunday brunch or any meal with a big group. They have huge round tables that the whole extended family can sit around, and they bring big baskets of breads and bowls of cottage cheese, coleslaw and other side dishes to pass around and share. One of my favorite things to order there is baked potato soup. It's beyond good.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of putting together a cookbook for The Machine Shed and Successful Farming magazine. The baked potato soup recipe was a shoe-in. I made it for my family the other night, and everyone went crazy for it. The recipe makes a big batch, so we had it for dinner two nights in a row, and the kids were actually excited about having leftovers! It's a little trickier to make than basic potato soup, but it's so worth it. You can do it, and you will be glad you did!

Click here to buy the cookbook from our online store: Now That's Cookin'. Here's the recipe, straight from the chefs at The Machine Shed:

Machine Shed Baked Potato Soup

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
6 slices bacon, chopped (or, heck, a pound)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 tsp. all-purpose flour
4 3/4 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley (I used basil because that's all that's left growing in my herb garden!)

Cook potatoes in a large saucepan in lightly salted boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender; drain and set aside.

In a 4-quart Dutch oven, cook bacon, onion, and celery until bacon is crisp and onion is tender. (Try to avoid eating all the bacon.) Stir in 4 teaspoons flour. Add broth, milk, salt, and pepper. Cook an dstir until just simmering (do not boil).

In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in 1/2 cup flour. Cook and stir for 1 minutes. Slowly add butter-flour mixture to milk mixture, stirring constantly. (I found that spreading a scoop at a time around the Dutch oven to thin it out, then incorporating it into the soup, worked well to avoid clumps.) Cook and stir mixture until thickened and bubbly.

Stir in cream and parsley. Stir in potatoes. Heat through. Garnish with shredded Colby cheese, crisp bacon pieces and fresh diced scallions if desired. Makes 8 servings. (It completely filled my Dutch oven. Five of us ate our fill two nights in a row.)

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