They're easy, inexpensive, delicious and (according to the Idaho Potato Commission) fairly nutritious. They're baked potatoes!
This is the third, I think, baked potato soup I've made so far, inspired by one of my kids' favorite on-the-cheap meals: loaded baked potatoes. Of course, you could feel free to enliven this further with any additional potato toppings you like--chives would have been nice, chili perhaps a little less so.
(Re)Loaded Baked Potato Soup
3 medium russet potatoes
1/4 pound bacon, diced, or 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound broccoli, chopped (peel the stems first)
1 cup frozen corn, partially thawed, or not (measure it out when you're prepping the other ingredients and just let it sit)
1 cup sour cream
Additional salt and pepper to taste
Grated Cheddar cheese for serving
Bake the potatoes, either old-school (cut off ends, throw them in a 425-degree oven for about 45 minutes) or high-tech (microwave them 'til they're just tender, then finish them off in a 425-degree oven for 10 minutes or so). Split them lengthwise and set them aside to cool.
If you're using bacon, place it in a cold soup pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; pour off all but 2 Tbsp fat. Return pot to medium heat.
If you're using olive oil, heat it in a soup pot over medium heat.
Either way, now would be a fine time to add the onion. Cook it, stirring regularly, for a good long while--you want it to get really tender, maybe even a little browned. Give it 7 to 10 minutes or so.
Add broth, salt, and pepper flakes. Scrape the innards out of the baked potatoes and add to pot. (You can chop up the skins and add them too, if you like.) If you're using bacon, add half of it to the pot now. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, steam the broccoli until just tender and no longer quite so grassy-tasting. Remove from heat and set aside.
When simmering is done, turn heat to very low, get a potato masher and mash the heck out of the potatoes. Be thorough. Don't use a mixer.
Stir in broccoli and corn. Whisk in sour cream very thoroughly.
Serve piping hot, with sprinklings of bacon and cheese and whatever other toppings you feel inspired to include.