A good blogger would have had a Thanksgiving leftover post pre-planned. A good blogger would have created a recipe ahead of time, photographed and written it up, and posted an update the day after Thanksgiving so that all of you staring at your leftovers could be inspired! A good blogger would not wait until 2 weeks later, when the leftovers were long gone and you all have mentally moved onto Christmas.
Probably a good blogger wouldn't create recipes in nearly illegible handwriting on napkins, either.
<---- my "Creative Process" at work.
Clearly, I am more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants blogger.
When Thanksgiving was settled this year I didn't have too much in the way of leftovers in the fridge. We pretty much decimated the turkey with sandwiches, and I had sent most of the sides home with guests. However, because I had hoarded them for myself, I had a generous portion of mashed potatoes.
In general, I find mashed potatoes an excellent excuse to eat way more butter than is good for me.
But, after mainlining butter for a couple of days, I was ready for a change. Leftover mashed potatoes seemed like a gimme for a potato and cheese soup, but I wanted something with a little more kick and a little less commonplace. When I found a brick of pepperjack cheese and a package of bacon in the fridge I knew I was onto the start of something delicious.
Besides, it's at least conceivable you might have mashed potatoes for Christmas, right? And then it's like I'm AHEAD of the game.
Pepperjack Potato Soup with Bacon
3 slices thick bacon, sliced into 1/4" slices
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
3 T. canned chopped green chilis
2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 can chicken broth (14 1/2 oz.)
1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 c. half and half
8 oz. pepperjack cheese, grated
several shakes of green Tabasco sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Garnish: Diced green onion tops & additional grated cheese
In a heavy-bottomed soup pot set over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels for garnish.
You should have about 2 T. of bacon fat in the bottom of your pan. Eyeball it... if it seems like you have way more, pour a little off. If you don't have enough, add a little butter. Add the diced onions to the pan, and sauté, scraping the bottom of the pan often, until the onions are crisp-tender and coated with the bacon fond. (About 8 minutes.) Add the green chilis and sauté another 2 or 3 minutes. Add garlic, and stir to combine.
Add the flour, and stir constantly until the vegetable mixture is well-coated and the flour has lost its raw taste, around 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, then add the potatoes and stir well. Add half and half, and then heat soup until it is simmering and thickened slightly. Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheese a handful at a time until it is well combined. Add Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, dish soup into bowls and top with reserved bacon, diced green onion tops, and additional grated cheese.