I’ve never met a potato that I didn’t love. Baked, fried, mashed, shredded into hash browns, cut up in soups – I love it all! The only down side to potatoes is the amount of time it takes to cook them. Therefore, when I bake potatoes for a summer barbeque, I always bake more than I need so they can be used in other recipes. I will also toss some in the oven next to a casserole or a batch of brownies. It’s all about time management and energy conservation.

This is one of those quick and easy recipes that won’t heat up the house too much or require you to spend half the day in the kitchen. Because I cheated. I admit it. However, in my defense, there is a trick to cheating and getting away with it. I always use a high-quality product as a base for my “almost homemade” recipes. In this case, I use Imagine Organic Potato Leek Soup and just add some yummy ingredients. 

Almost Homemade Potato Soup
Serves 3
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  1. 3 strips of bacon, uncooked
  2. 1 small onion, diced
  3. 3 stalks of celery, sliced
  4. 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  5. 3 medium potatoes, baked, cooled and diced
  6. 1 16 oz. container of Imagine Organic Potato Leek Soup
  7. 6 oz. colby/jack cheese, grated
  8. 3 T. sour cream
  9. 1 green onion, sliced
  10. Fresh ground pepper
  1. Cut bacon in small pieces. Place in a medium saucepan and fry over medium heat until crisp, separating pieces as they begin to cook. Leaving as much grease in the pan as possible, remove from the grease with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Return the pan to the heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic to the pan and saute until tender. Add potatoes and Potato Leek Soup. Heat through.
  3. Ladle soup into three bowls. Top each with an equal portion of grated cheese, sour cream, green onion, and bacon pieces. Grind a little pepper over each and serve.
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 by Cynthia McInvale

 Very flavorful, with a melted cheddar topping and slightly crisp edges. The rosemary, thyme and garlic provide an aroma that fills the house and satisfies the taste buds!

Cynthia's Shepherd's Pie
Serves 8
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Meat Filling
  1. 1 lb. ground beef, preferably 85/15
  2. 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  3. 1 ½ c. chicken broth, preferably homemade
  4. 1 c. peeled and diced carrots
  5. 1 T. minced garlic
  6. ½ t. sea salt
  7. Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  8. 1 1/2 t. dried rosemary, crushed
  9. ½ t. ground thyme
  10. 1 t. granulated garlic
  11. ½ t. granulated onion
  12. 2 T. cornstarch
Potato Topping
  1. 6 medium russet potatoes
  2. 3 T. butter
  3. ¼ - 1/3 c. heavy cream
  4. 1 – 2 T. sour cream or green onion dip
  5. ¼ t. sea salt
  6. Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  7. ¼ t. granulated garlic
  8. ¼ t. granulated onion
Sprinkle with
  1. 1 ½ c. shredded Colby/Jack cheese
  1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion. Do not drain. Add chicken broth, carrots, and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover and cook until carrots are tender, but not mushy. Add seasonings. Combine cornstarch with ¼ c. water and quickly stir into mixture. Cook briefly to thicken. Pour into 11 x 7 glass baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and beginning to brown on top. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  3. Peel the potatoes and cut each into 8 - 10 pieces. Place in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft, but not mushy. Place butter in a large bowl. Use a slotted spoon to remove potatoes from the cooking water and put them in the bowl with the butter. Top with ¼ c. heavy cream, sour cream or dip, salt, and pepper. Blend with hand mixer until smooth, adding more cream as necessary. Spread on top of meat filling.
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