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This blog post will walk you through the classic Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup recipe. If you’re a soup lover, you’re in for a treat! It’s creamy, savory, and the perfect blend of comfort and sophistication.
In the following sections, we’ll go into more detail about the background of this delicious soup recipe, and provide some helpful serving suggestions and tips for the perfect baked potato soup. Keep reading to bring the wonderful flavors of Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup to your own kitchen.
What is Houlihan’s?
Houlihan’s is an American casual dining restaurant and bar with a rich history dating back to 1972. It is famous for its wide variety of selections, featuring dishes made from scratch and catering to all types of diets, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. The Baked Potato Soup is one of their heartwarming classics and has been a comforting favorite among regular diners. Recreating this masterpiece at home brings not just a delightful meal to your table, but also reminisces the unique dining experience at Houlihan’s.
Houlihan’s Potato Soup Recipe Ingredients
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients. It’s quite a simple list, but each item is crucial for that savory, wholesome taste.
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1 liter chicken broth
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped chives and crumbled bacon for garnishing
Prep Time, Serving Size
The preparation time for this recipe is approximately 15 minutes, and the cooking time is 1 hour and 15 minutes. This recipe serves 4 to 6 people, making it perfect for a family meal or a small gathering.
The Preparation Process
Step 1: Bake your Potatoes Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C). Pierce your russet potatoes with a fork multiple times, then place them on a baking sheet. Bake for about an hour or until they’re soft when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
Step 2: Sauté the Vegetables Next, in a large pot, sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots with a bit of oil until they’re tender and the onions have turned transparent. Don’t forget to keep stirring!
Step 3: Add in the Broth and Potato When your vegetables are ready, pour in the chicken broth, and scoop out the insides of 3 of your cooled potatoes, mashing slightly. Stir your soup until the mashed potatoes have mixed in well.
Step 4: Add Dairy and Remaining Potato Finally, lower the heat and add in milk, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Stir until your soup thickens slightly, season with salt and pepper to taste. Dice the last potato, and add it to the soup for added texture.
Garnish and Serve
Once your soup reaches your desired consistency, it’s time to serve! Ladle into bowls, then sprinkle with chopped chives and crumbled bacon. For added richness, consider adding an extra dollop of sour cream on top. Enjoy your homemade Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup hot, with a hearty slice of bread on the side for dipping. Your family and friends will be impressed by your culinary skills and the restaurant-quality flavors you’ve been able to recreate.
Storing and Reheating Instructions
If you end up with leftovers, don’t worry! Potato soup tastes even better the next day. Here’s how to store and reheat it:
Storing the Soup: Once cooled, transfer the soup to an airtight container and refrigerate. You can keep the soup in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing the Soup: Potato soup freezes beautifully for up to 3 months. Just remember to leave out any toppings as those are best added fresh. Cool the soup completely before transferring to freezer-safe containers. Leave a bit of headspace for expansion as the soup freezes.
Reheating the Soup: Reheat refrigerated soup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. For frozen soup, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. If the soup is too thick after thawing, feel free to add a bit of broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
Enjoy a bowl of Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup on its own, or pair it with your favorite side for a meal that’s sure to satisfy. And remember to garnish it with your ideal toppings for that extra touch of comfort and personalization.
What is Chicken Base?
Chicken base is a heavily concentrated form of chicken stock. You may also hear this referred to as chicken bouillon. Many times, it’s used in soups and sauces to enhance the chicken flavor, and it is well-known for its ability to add depth to a variety of dishes. Although it’s highly concentrated, it is often lower in sodium than regular chicken broth or stock. You can find chicken bases in most grocery stores, usually in the soup aisle.
If you don’t have chicken base in your pantry, don’t fret! There are plenty of suitable alternatives. For instance, you could use chicken broth or stock instead, or you can even dissolve a chicken bouillon cube in boiling water. However, bear in mind these alternatives may alter the final taste of your Baked Potato Soup slightly, so adjust other seasonings accordingly to guarantee a satisfying end result.
How to Make Chicken Base?
If you’re interested in making your own chicken base, it requires a bit more time and effort, but the finished product is often more flavorful than the store-bought version. Here’s a basic recipe to help you create a homemade chicken base:
- 5 pounds of chicken bones
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 peppercorns
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 2 gallons of water
Step 1: Place the chicken bones in a large stockpot. Add in your vegetables, bay leaves, peppercorns, and garlic – basically, everything goes into the pot except the water.
Step 2: Pour the water into the pot, making sure that the chicken bones and all other ingredients are fully submerged. If you need to add more water to cover the ingredients, feel free to do so.
Step 3: Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.
Step 4: Let the mixture simmer for at least 6 to 8 hours. The longer it simmers, the deeper and more concentrated the flavor will be.
Step 5: Once you’re happy with the flavor, strain the mixture through a fine sieve or cheesecloth to separate the liquids from the solids. Discard all the solids or repurpose them as you see fit.
Step 6: Let your homemade chicken base cool down at room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It can last for up to one week. You can also store it in the freezer for future use (up to 6 months).
Creating your own chicken base does take patience – it’s a true labor of love. However, the rich and authentic chicken flavor it adds to dishes like our Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup makes this endeavor worthwhile.
Remember, every good meal starts with quality ingredients and careful preparation. We hope this recipe brings a sense of warmth and comfort to your table. Enjoy the process of cooking, and don’t forget to share this delightful dish with your loved ones. There’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup to bring people together.
Recipe Tips and Variations
Cooking is all about personal preference and creativity. Feel free to add your own touches to this recipe to make it truly your own. Here are a few tips and variations you may want to consider:
- Vegan/Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon garnish. Swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and the cheddar cheese for a plant-based cheese. You can also use a dairy-free milk and sour cream alternative.
- Changing Proteins: Beyond just bacon, you can also garnish your soup with your protein of choice. Shredded chicken or even cooked shrimp can provide a pleasant contrast to the creamy consistency of the soup.
- Additional Toppings: A dollop of salsa, chopped avocado, or even a sprinkle of red chili flakes can add a pop of color and flavor to your soup. Experiment with different toppings according to your personal preference.
- Low Sodium Option: If you’re watching your sodium intake, you can use low-sodium broth. Be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
- Thicken It Up: If you prefer a thicker soup, you may choose to add more mashed potatoes or let the soup simmer a bit longer until it reaches your desired consistency.
Remember, the trick to a delicious homemade soup is patience, and using the freshest and finest ingredients. These tips are meant to inspire you to get creative with the recipe and cook a soup as unique as you are.
Benefits of Houlihan’s Potato Soup
Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup is not just a delicious and comforting meal; it also offers several health benefits due to its quality ingredients:
Rich in Vitamins: Potatoes are a good source of several vitamins, including vitamins C and B6. They also contain a good amount of potassium.
High in Fiber: The skins of baked potatoes, as well as the vegetables used, contribute to the dietary fiber content of the soup. This is beneficial for digestive health and helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Protein Source: The bacon, chicken base, and cheese in the soup provide protein an essential nutrient that helps repair body tissues and supports immune health.
Hydrating: Due to its liquid content, soup can help with hydration which is essential for numerous bodily functions including circulation and digestion.
In addition to its nutritional perks, this dish provides a comforting and hearty meal that can warm you up on a cold day or simply offer a satisfying dinner option at any time of the year. Regardless if you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is certainly achievable and will surely impress.
Serving: 1 Bowl of Soup (Approximately)
Calories: 375 kcal Carbohydrates: 45g Protein: 15g Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 30mg Sodium: 825mg Sugar: 3g Dietary Fiber: 2g
Please note, that the nutritional content may vary depending on the specific ingredients used. This data shouldn’t be considered a definitive calculation, but rather a rough estimate. For more accurate nutritional values, consider calculating the nutritional content based on your specific ingredients.
Making your own Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup at home can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. By following these simple steps and understanding the basic techniques, you’ll be able to customize your soup to suit your personal taste.
Moreover, keep in mind the benefits of using homemade chicken bases and the difference they can make in your dishes. It might take some time, but the result is certainly worth it. Remember to have fun in the kitchen, savor each moment, and share the fruits of your labor with your loved ones.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different ingredients and flavors – this is the beauty of cooking. Whether you’re looking to prepare a comforting meal for your family on a chilly evening, or needing a pick-me-up meal, this soup is a wonderful choice.
In the end, it’s not just about the delicious soup you’ll be eating but the loving process of preparing it. From our kitchen to yours, enjoy your cooking journey.
Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup FAQ
Here are some commonly asked questions about Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup and their answers:
This soup pairs well with a crusty baguette, a hearty salad, or even grilled chicken for a more substantial meal.
Yes, you can. However, heavy cream helps to provide a richer, creamier flavor and texture to the soup.
To make this soup gluten-free, ensure all your ingredients (especially the chicken base and the cheese) do not contain gluten. You might also opt to use a homemade chicken base.
Yes, this soup freezes quite well. Just make sure to cool it completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. When ready to use, thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it on the stovetop, adding a little extra broth if needed to adjust the consistency.
No problem. After the potatoes are cooked, you can simply mash them directly in the pot using a regular potato masher. If you like a smoother soup, you can transfer the mixture to a regular blender in batches, just be careful as it will be hot.
You can find a variety of copycat recipes online, in cookbooks, or on recipe-sharing websites. It’s best to choose a recipe that closely matches your dietary needs and flavor preferences.