Baked Potato Soup recipe from 'Unbelievably Gluten-Free!' cookbook by Anne Byrn. / Renee Comet / USA WEEKEND
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Spuds in Space
In 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. What was NASA thinking? That the tubers would make a great food source for future space colonies.
Someone You Know
An astonishing 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease, in which the body can't metabolize gluten. Even more are gluten "sensitive".
If you're tempted to cut up the potatoes before roasting them to shorten the cooking time, don't do it. "They purée better if you roast them whole," Byrn says.
For someone not on a gluten-free diet, Anne Byrn certainly knows a lot about it. Over the years at book signings, she encountered fans who wanted wheat-flour-free versions of her legendary cakes — because of celiac disease, wheat allergies or even arthritis. The key to cooking sans gluten is to simulate the textures and flavors of wheat with other all-natural ingredients. “At a restaurant, this baked-potato soup might have been thickened with flour,” says Byrn, who once took classes with the legendary Julia Child. “But russet-potato purée is all you need.”
Baked Potato Soup
For the soup:
• 4 large baking potatoes
• 2 Tbs. (1/4 stick) butter, or 2 Tbs. olive oil
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 8 cups (2 quarts) low-sodium chicken broth
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup (heavy whipping) cream
• 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby or mild cheddar cheese
For the garnish:
• 1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or parsley
If you are baking the potatoes, Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Rinse the potatoes under warm running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Prick each of the potatoes several times with a fork or sharp knife to let steam escape. Place the potatoes in the oven and Bake them until cooked through, about 1 hour. When done the potatoes will be easily pierced with a knife. If you are microwaving the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a microwave oven and cook them on high power for 5 minutes. Then, turn the potatoes over and cook them for another 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and let them rest for about 1 minute. Check for doneness by cutting into one potato with a sharp knife. If the potatoes are not done, return them to the microwave to cook for about another 1 minute, then repeat the test for doneness.
Set the potatoes aside. Place the butter or olive oil in a large heavy soup pot. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat until the onion it softens, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Cut the baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the cooked potato flesh into the pot with the onions. Add the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let come to a boil over medium heat, stirring, and then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer until the potatoes are very tender and the soup is well combined, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cream.
Working in batches, ladle the warm soup into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add 1 cup of the cheese. Cook, stirring, over low heat until the cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes. The soup can be refrigerated for 2 or 3 days.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish it with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and crumbled bacon and chives or parsley.
Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 298 calories, 23g carbohydrates, 17g protein, 16g fat (8.3g saturated), 2g fiber, 48mg cholesterol, 561mg sodium
Credit: Excerpted from Unbelieveably Gluten-Free! Copyright © 2012 by Anne Byrn
Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. New York