Houston’s Restaurant Baked Potato Soup

Houston’s Restaurants are part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group and have locations throughout the United States.  If you have ever had the pleasure of dining at one of the restaurants, you may have tried their baked potato soup.  It’s one of their signature dishes and is delicious.

Yield:  6 Servings

INGREDIENTS

5 medium russet potatoes

3 cups whole milk

½ cup half and half

½ cup sour cream

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 ½ teaspoons chopped chives

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 ½ teaspoons unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon celery salt

1 green onion diced, including onion and green

5 strips of bacon diced and fried crispy

1 ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds

PREPARATION

Wash and rub potatoes with butter and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until tender.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.  When the potatoes have cooled enough to touch, peel the potatoes.  While the potatoes are cooling, add fennel seeds to milk and half and half and scald the milk.  To scald the milk, at a moderate temperature bring the milk to just about boiling, but don’t boil and remove from heat.  Let the milk cool with the fennel seeds in it.

 

Cut 4 potatoes in half and spoon out cooked potato and place in a food processor.  You should have about 1 ½ – 2 cups of cooked potato.  Dice the 5th potato and set aside.  To the cooked potato, add sour cream, chives, salt, pepper, celery salt and ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese.  Strain the fennel seeds from warm milk and discard seeds, pour milk into a sauce pan and add butter and diced potato.  Stir frequently and simmer on very low setting for about 15 – 20 minutes.  When ready to serve, ladle into individual soup bowls and garnish with cheddar cheese, bacon and diced green onions.  Serve with toasted cheese bread strips.