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Dining Out At Home Two:Soups!

Dining Out At Home 2 Cookbook has a handful of comforting soup's that everyone can easily make in their own home.They are soups that are simple recreations from popular restaurants such as Apple bee's,Olive Garden,Kroger's and Outback Steakhouse etc. Also the soups are great to enjoy the next day and I feel can be easily doubled or even tripled to serve a larger crowd.Sounds like a chapter I would dive into first?

So for my choice,I made a creamy based soup from this chapter called Baked Potato Soup inspired by Outback Steakhouse.This was the go to recipe for me because I love the versatility of potatoes and I felt it was quite a unique idea that the potatoes are baked prior for this particular soup.I just knew that this would have a new affect on the potatoes texture and I couldn't resist trying out a new idea for potato soup.So once I made my mind up on the soup I wanted I still felt this recipe was a little lonely and would benefit with a partner recipe.So I chose to make Kroger's inspired homemade bread bowl to serve the soup in, to complete the foodie experience.So how did it turn out for me?

Well I find homemade soups to be quite easy to make,along with lots of room to experiment.Baked Potato Soup is one of those recipes because its made with pretty basic ingredients and follows a simple method.It follows a method of creating a roux,which aid has a thickening agent and enhances flavors.It also follows a method of gradually adding a low sodium broth and a heavy cream to the roux to prevent lumps and help thicken slowly.Both these aspects in the directions help create richness in flavor and a creamy texture for this particular soup.Lastly,I'm impressed that the fact that low sodium broth is use in this recipe because I was able to control the salt content throughout and had more room to season to my desire.Also,in this recipe, there is lots of room to easily add has many different flavors or ingredients as you like and for me I feel to keep as closely as possible to Stephanie's inspiration.

Now, we just want to know what this tastes like, right? Well I was told that this is the best soup that I have ever made thus far.So I guess that definitely says something right off the bat and I agree that it is my favorite soup as well.Every spoonful of this creamy soup is quite addictive and you just want to go back for second or thirds.It has this layer of flavor and texture that just brings you back every time.This baked potato soup is very creamy and rich with heavy cream, along with tender pieces of potatoes with a well balance of seasoning.Though the big surprise in flavor with this soup is when its served.Because we have crisp bacon,shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onion sprinkled on top of this warm,hardy soup.This brings bright and rich flavors to the overall soup,along with a beautiful,impressive appearance. This would be a delicious soup to serve your family and friends.Baked Potato Soup is a top notch recipe and I will  definitely be making it again.

So now that I have a simple and delicious soup.I knew I needed something equally as good to serve it in so I chose to make Kroger's homemade bread bowls.Yes? It's a bowl you can serve with and eat at the same time.This is quite a unique way to include bread and soup together,along with creating a country,rustic appearance.

These bread bowls are quite simple to make and are sturdy enough to hold any hardy soup.They create a wonderfully buttery and fluffy center along with a beautiful golden exterior.Though I do have to be honest it does take some patience to make these buns because of the rising aspect.So I recommend to give yourself lots of time if you have a deadline and to prep any soup ingredients ahead.So overall,I love the bread bowl idea and it was well worth the wait to serve these with the delicious baked potato soup.A top notch recipe and will be making this recipe again as well.

So I am quite impressed so far with Stephanie Manley recipes and next chapter I will be taking on Main Dishes.So be sure to keep close by and see what unique dishes I will take on.Everyone enjoy your weekend and this baked potato soup. 

The Recipe

Bread Bowls 
Serves 5-6 bread bowls

1 1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp quick rise or 1 package instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp semolina flour(optional)
1 tsp salt
Vegetable oil,for bowl
Vegetable shortening,for baking

I combined the warm water in a medium bowl with the yeast and sugar.Setting aside to bubble and foam.

I added the flour and salt to my stand mixer bowl.Once the yeast was completed.I poured the liquid into the flour mixture.I placed my dough hook on and blended it on medium, until the hook could no longer blend everything.

I unhooked my bowl, sprinkled flour on my work surface and kneaded the dough, until soft and smooth.

Then I placed the soft dough in a medium bowl with 1 tsp of vegetable oil and turned the dough to coat.Then I allowed the dough to rise in a warm place,covered with a towel.Letting it double in size at 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Then I greased the baking sheet and lightly dusted with cornmeal.Then dividing the dough into 5-6 portions.Forming the balls and placed them on the prepared sheet.Now for a second rising,I covered the buns with a towel and let double in size for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Once they were fully risen, I uncovered the balls and let them sit for 10-15 minutes,to develop a tougher skin.Preheating the oven to 425F. Before baking I sprinkled the bread bowls with water and baked them for 20 minutes,until they became deep golden brown.

Then I removed the buns from the oven and let them completely cool or until easy to handle.Then I cut the tops off of each and scooped out the insides.Then served them with soup.

Tip:The bread inside is great to dip into soup or using for homemade croutons. 

Tip:If using bread bowls later, you can easily wrapped them before use.

Tip: While the dough is rising, this is the time to start prepping your favorite soup, or a soup in this cookbook.

Baked Potato Soup

(Inspired by Outback Steakhouse)
Serves 8-10 cups

4 medium potatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped white onions
1/2 cups butter
1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups heavy cream
1 tsp salt,or to taste
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper,or to taste
8 slices of fried bacon,until crispy and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion

I preheated the oven to 400 F. Placed 4 medium russet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake them for 1 hour,once they were easily pierced with a fork.I removed the potatoes and let them cool, until they were easy to handle.Peeled and chopped them into bite-size pieces,setting them aside.

While I waited for the potatoes to bake,I fried up the bacon slices, until crisp and crumbly,drain them on a small towel and set them aside.I also grated the cheddar cheese,chopped the white onion and chopped the green onion,setting aside as well.

In a large pot over medium-high heat,I cooked the chopped white onion in the butter,until they were translucent.I added the flour and stirred until it cooked out the raw flour taste.It will smell like cooked pie crust. (Method: This is the roux I was talking about that helps thicken sauces and soups)

Then I stirred in 1 cup of chicken broth,mixing quickly.Once it thickened,I added another cup of broth,letting it thicken further.Lastly I added the remaining 2 cups of broth.Then I stirred in the 2 cups of heavy cream,allowing to thicken again and adding the rest of the cream.(Method: Gradually adding the liquid helps prevent lumps and will thicken more slowly.)

Then I let the mixture come to a soft boil and then reduced the heat to low.This is when I added the diced bake potato and seasoned with salt and pepper.I found I had to add more salt and pepper then mentioned.To serve,I poured a portion in the bread bowls and sprinkled bacon,shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onion on top.

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