Easy Comfort on a Cold Day…

Cold is a relative thing don’t cha know…  This was published in a local newsletter in my little town here in Minnesota.  As far as I have experienced life here, it’s pretty much right on the money.  It gives you a perspective how we compare with the rest of the world with our “balmy” climate.

At 65 degrees, Arizonans turn on the heat.  People in MN plant gardens.

At 60, Californians shiver uncontrollably.  People in MN sunbathe.

At 50, European cars won’t start.  People in MN drive with the windows down.

At 40, Georgians don coats, thermals, gloves, wool hats.  People in MN throw on a flannel shirt.

At 35, New York landlords finally turn up the heat.  People in MN have the last cookout before it gets cold.

At 20, people  in Miami all die.  People in MN close their windows.

At 0, Californians fly away to Mexico. People in MN get out their winter coats.

At 10 below, Hollywood disintegrates.  The Girls Scouts in MN sell cookies door-to-door.

At 20 below, Washington DC runs out of hot air (not possible).  People in MN let their dogs sleep inside.

At 30 below, Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.  Minnesotans get upset because they can’t start their snowmobile.

At 40 below, ALL atomic motion stops.  People in MN start saying…”Cold enough for ya, eh?”

At 50 below, hell freezes over.  MN public schools open 2 hours late.

With that said, wherever you are, and whenever your start to get cold, this baked potato soup will warm you to your soul. Houlihan’s restaurant was kind enough to publish their easy and very tasty recipe.  I’ll make a double batch for football gatherings and not a drop is left.

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Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 pound baking potatoes
1/4 pound butter
2 cups yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
5 cups water
1/4 cup low sodium chicken base
1 cup instant potato flakes
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
salt and white pepper to taste
grated Cheddar cheese
sliced scallions
bacon (cooked until crisp and diced)

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PREPARATION:

Prick washed potatoes and bake in a preheated 400 degrees F oven until a fork pierces to the center easily. Remove potatoes from oven and allow to fully cool. Remove skin and cut potatoes into 1/2-1″ cubes. Set aside.

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

In a separate container, combine water, chicken base, potato flakes and seasonings. Stir or whisk thoroughly to eliminate lumps. 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 milk and cream, 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. Top each serving with grated cheddar cheese, sliced scallions and bacon pieces.

Enjoy and keep warm this winter!

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