Italian Style Baked Potato Soup

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2 baking potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup mixed carrots and celery, 3 garlic cloves all together put through a food processor ( if you like onions add 1/4 cup of those as well)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon each dried basil, parsley, garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup half-and-half
Optional Toppings:
1/2 cup shredded Five Italian Cheeses
 8 oz chopped up prosciutto

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes for 1 hour, or until done. Cool. Remove skins.

Melt butter in a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Saute veggies from the food processor about one minute. Stir in flour, and cook 5 minutes to make a roux. Pour in chicken stock and water. Add cornstarch and mashed potato flakes. Season with salt, pepper, and rest of herbs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Cube cooled  potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, and stir into soup, along with the half-and-half, add worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thick. Spoon into bowls, and garnish with shredded cheese, prosciutto.