Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup

Pop some potatoes into the oven and soon you have the foundation for a yummy hearty soup.  I love soup for so many reasons – they feed many, they come in so many flavors and the leftovers freeze wonderfully for a future meal.  

Baked Potato Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 6 large potatoes
  2. 8 pieces of turkey bacon, cooked and diced
  3. 1 Tbsp garlic salt
  4. 1 tsp onion powder
  5. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
  6. 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  7. 3/4 cup of milk - I used unsweetened almond milk
  8. Cheddar Cheese
  9. Sour Cream
  10. Green Onions, diced
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Scrub potatoes and dry. Wrap each in foil and puncture with sharp knife a couple of times.
  3. Place directly on rack in heated oven.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Sharp knife should go in easily.
  5. Carefully remove foil and let sit for 30 minutes to cool a bit.
  6. Peel 4 of the potatoes and cut into large pieces.
  7. Cut the 2 other potatoes into small pieces and set aside. Leave the skins on.
  8. Place 2 cups of the broth into blender and add 1/2 of the peeled cooked potatoes. Blend to smooth consistency. Repeat with other half of potatoes and broth. Add some water if more liquid is needed. Place this into a large pot on stove.
  9. Add in the baked potato pieces, milk, garlic salt, onion powder and cayenne powder. Cook on low-medium until warm and spices are incorporated.
  10. Ladle into bowl and top with bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions.
Deliciously Inspired http://www.deliciouslyinspired.com/
 Sometimes a potato isn’t just a potato.  It is a smooth, creamy warm bowl of deliciousness.

Potatoes

What is your favorite kind of soup?

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Calphalon Giveaway and Sweet Potato Soup – A winning combo

This giveaway is now closed. Please click HERE for the announcement of the winner.

Sweet Pot Soup - Ready to Eat

This box recently arrived at my doorstep.  

Calphalon - BoxI have owned a set of Calphalon cookware for over ten years and so when I was offered an opportunity to review a piece of their Contemporary line, I jumped at the chance.  My existing set is used day in and day out and many memories have been created in those pots and pans.   I chose the 8.5 quart dutch oven because of it’s wide base.  I could easily envision soups, spaghetti sauce, chicken, and veggies being prepared.  I won’t lie – I was also pretty excited  that this product line can go into the dishwasher; something my current pots and pans aren’t able to do.   Hmmm- I wonder what I could do with a few more minutes?  

Calphalon - Box

It didn’t take long before the pan was out of it’s box, washed and ready to be put to work.  I created a soup recipe that can be made quickly  (please see below).  I also made sweet potatoes cooked in apple juice and spices which left a sticky mess.  My husband used it during Thanksgiving to sauté green beans and is looking forward to trying them on his artichokes.   Each and every time the pan came out sparkling clean from the dishwasher.

Here are a few other positive things I jotted down while I was using the pan.

1.  Love the deepness of pan – no splatters when sautéing onions or when the additional ingredients are added.  This meantt less to clean up on my stove top.

2.  Lots of cooking surface allowing the ingredients to be spread out which created a quicker cooking time.

3.  Handles do not get warm when using on stove top.

4.  Clean in dishwasher — really – really – like.

5.  Nonstick surface – a very small amount of oil is needed.

It is always a good idea to use our time wisely.  My dad has a saying “Work Smart – Not Hard”.  It’s important to have the correct tools for the job to make that saying possible in our lives.  I believe quality cookware is one of the best investments we can make.

(Note:  This post includes a chance to win your own dutch over.  Enter using the rafflecopter at the bottle of this post.  It’s not going to run long – just a week.)

This soup is nutritious – delicious – and goes together quickly because it starts with a pre made soup which provides a creaminess and spices that are already built in.  I am always looking for recipes that work well during busy times.  It can be made with as many vegetables as you want and of course, meat is always optional.  

Sweet Potato Soup
A hearty soup that is good on days where time is limited.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 box of Imagine Organic Sweet Potato Soup
  2. 1 box Pacific Organic Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  3. 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  4. 1/2 large onion - chopped or 1 Tbsp of onion powder
  5. 2 medium carrots, chopped
  6. 3 stalks of celery, sliced
  7. 1 green pepper, chopped
  8. 1 1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced (optional)
  9. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  10. 1/8 tsp cayene pepper or to taste
  11. 1 tsp salt
  12. cilantro for garnish
  13. Can be added for more vegetable goodness
  14. 2 turnips, chopped
  15. 2 medium zuchinni, chopped
  16. 3/4 cup of frozen peas
Instructions
  1. *Optional items are in ( )
  2. In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over low-medium heat. Add onion and sauté until transparent. Add the carrot, green pepper, (turnip) and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add celery, (chicken) and (zucchini). Cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add in sweet potato soup, chicken broth and spices. Heat to light boil.
  5. Add in (frozen peas).
  6. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Tips
  1. Prepare veggies earlier.
  2. Frozen veggies can be used.
Deliciously Inspired http://www.deliciouslyinspired.com/
Saute the onions over low-medium heat until they become transparent.

Sweet Pot Soup - onions

Prepped Veggies
Sweet Pot Soup - Hard Vegs

 
Yum – ready to eat!
Sweet Pot Soup - Cooked Soup

Storing the leftovers for future lunches.
Sweet Pot Soup - Future

Let’s get this puppy in the dishwasher.

Sweet Pot Soup - Ready for Dishwasher

Hoping for the best – starting dishwasher.
Sweet Potato Soup - Dishwasher 1

Happiness – All clean and ready for the next time.
Sweet Pot Soup - Dishwasher Clean

So you may be wondering what did I spend the extra time I gained by not washing my dutch oven – I got started on a project that I’ve wanted to try – a no sew stenciled burlap pillow.

Believe Pillow

If you’d like to enter a chance to win your own Calphalon Nonstick 8.5 Quart Dutch Oven (approx value $100.00) please enter below. The winner will be chosen randomly on Monday, December 9 so last day to enter will be December 8.  I will then contact the winner requesting their mailing address which I will share with Calphalon so they can ship out the product.  

As part of your entry – please answer this question.  What would you do during the time you could save?

Much thanks to Calphalon for allowing me to test out and enjoy this fine product but also for their generosity in providing one of my readers this quality piece of cookware.

Ready to Enter….Click below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Deliciously Inspired was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own.   The winner will be chosen through the rafflecopter form which uses Random.org.  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen.  Open to US only.

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Celebrating

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The best times often come about with no preplanning.  Somehow they just flow with a rhythm that delights the heart.  As an event coordinator I can get lost in the planning at times.  This weekend I was reminded of two important things:  (1) Being spontaneous is fun  (2) When doing for others give a moment of thought on where they are today (how is their health, their time demands, etc) and what do they like to do.  Placing these two components into giving is a sure fired fit in helping someone feel cared for.  Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages is a good resource.

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - Collage

I got up on Saturday morning and started the preparation for a chicken soup using the leftovers from a $5.00 roasted chicken from our trip to Whole Foods the night before.  We had plans that day to go out to lunch with my parents and were going to treat my dad to celebrate his upcoming birthday.   Then a thought dawned like the sun – my dad would like this chicken soup more than going to a restaurant.  So that is what we did. (The picture below was taken earlier in the week.  I was leaving for work and it was so bright I thought I’d left a light on but the sun was just coming up and in a certain spot.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it do that before.  It definitely wasn’t a staged shot – love my one flip flop on the floor? – oh, well we are talking about being spontaneous.)  

Dad's Birthday - am light

A combination of the Thai Pasta Salad (leftovers from the day before) with romaine, kale, avocado, and heirloom tomatoes was added to the meal.  I used a spelt rotini. Note:  The Thai Pasta Salad is one of the recipes available in A Few Favorites Cookbook.  Click HERE for information on downloading.

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - Salad

I made an Herbal Blueberry Iced Tea and served lemonade ice cubes. Wouldn’t these be cute for a Gender Party?

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - Lemonade Ice Cubes

Biscuits were baked.  Dessert was started and put in the oven – Orange Crustless Custard Pie  I was excited to have my parents try this recipe since they both like coconut and custard.

Dad's B'day 2013 Lunch - Pie baking

In the meantime I set the table.  A mason jar makes a perfect vase for a $5.00 collection of grocery store flowers that were still looking perky after almost a week.  

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - Place Setting

I found a cute moldable tray for $1 a few weeks back and decided to try something – moldable butter.  I placed softened butter into 6 of the little areas in the tray and shoved into the freezer to set.  They popped out nicely but next time I will do things a little differently – 1.  Melt the butter and pour into molds to eliminate holes.   2.  Once I pop the butter out I will place in the refrigerator.  Fifteen minutes before serving the meal, I’ll bring out onto the table to soften.  We all laughed because I left the butter in the freezer and although they were in shapes I needed to microwave so we could use – there went my moldable butter.

Dad's Birthday Lunch 2013 - Molded Butter

Our time was filled watching Antiques Road Show, eating, talking websites and iPads and enjoying dessert. (They both gave the pie a two thumbs up.)

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - finished pie

Funny – I never took a picture of the soup that inspired the day but I like this picture better.

Dad's Birthday Lunch 2013-Dad and Debbie

 I’d love to hear your thoughts on being spontaneous, easy ways you have found of having people over to your house, etc.

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