Traditions have to start someplace. Last night a new Christmas Eve tradition started with Norma Jones’ baked potato soup. I offer a bit about Norma and her soup recipe as my gift to you.(More)

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Norma was in her early 90’s when I met her. She was a very good friend of my Aunt Mary’s. Mary and I were talking about what to have for supper one chilly night in Nebraska. Mary suggested Norma’s baked potato soup. I loved it and asked her who Norma was.

Turns out Norma raised a bunch of kids and went to Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri to work as a cook. The soup recipe came from her time there. The next day Mary and I went off to visit Norma. Norma was barely five feet tall, thin and wiry. She offered us each a “Jones Cream Soda.” On the label was a photo of her twin great-granddaughters, also named Jones. The soda company had asked for real Joneses to submit their pictures and if they chose you for their labels, you and your family got lots of free soda. Norma was happy that we liked her soup recipe. She was also quite a quiet woman and getting any more recipes out of her seemed to challenge her natural modesty. I left with a cookie recipe (great) and one for a jello salad (not my cup of tea). The baked potato soup is great for chilly nights in Northern Blogistan and even not so chilly nights at the main campus. Enjoy.

Norma Jones’ Baked Potato Soup

2/3 c butter
2/3 c flour
7 c milk
4 c peeled cubed baked potatoes
4 green onions thinly sliced
12 strips cooked bacon crumbled
1 ¼ c shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz sour cream
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

In large kettle, melt butter, stir in flour. Heat and stir until smooth. Add milk, stirring until thickened. Add potatoes and onions. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add bacon, cheese, sour cream salt and pepper.

Stir until cheese is melted and serve. Makes 2 ½ qts or 8 to 10 servings.

I generally add more potatoes, cheese and bacon than the recipe calls for, especially more bacon. This can be made ahead and reheated.

Merry Christmas!