Red Lobster is an American casual dining restaurant chain that is owned and operated by Darden Restaurants, Inc., headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The company also has operations in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan. As of May 29, 2011, there are 698 Red Lobster locations worldwide.
Red Lobster was founded in 1968 by entrepreneurs Bill Darden and Charley Woodsby. Originally billed as a "Harbor for Seafood Lovers", the first restaurant in Lakeland, Florida, was followed by several others throughout the southeast. In 1970, General Mills acquired Red Lobster as a five-unit company. With new backing, the chain expanded rapidly in the 1980s.
Bacon Potato Soup
Bacon Potato Soup
Red Lobster Copycat Recipe
5 large baking potatoes, cooked and cut in 1-inch cubes
8 slices thick cut bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped (reserve some for topping)
2 – 3 teaspoons bacon drippings
1 cup sweet onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
You'll need to start by preparing your potatoes and bacon (be sure to reserve bacon grease). Using a large stock pot over medium heat, cook onion in bacon drippings, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic and flour, stirring well and cook another 2 minutes, stirring often.Slowly add chicken broth to onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in potatoes, half-and-half, and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes (do not boil). Stir in bacon. Serve hot. Spoon into bowls and garnish with cheddar cheese and bacon.
Notes: Since this recipe uses potatoes that are already baked, you could toss a few in the oven the night before to bake them ahead of time. Peel the potatoes, halve them and add some butter in the middle, wrap them in aluminum foil tightly and bake at 400°F for 1 hour or until soft. Cook bacon using preferred method until crisp. I like to bake thick cut bacon on a cooling rack over a sheet pan in the oven at 425 for 20 mins. Allow to cool and chop or crumble into small pieces.