Loaded Baked Potato Soup

First a confession…. I have mentioned a few times now that I am not a lover of soups.  I have shared a select few with you on here that I do like, but generally I thought of myself as someone who just didn’t enjoy most soups.  Looking through the soups I have come to enjoy I feel like I can no longer accurately call my self a soup hater.  I still don’t really like brothy soups, and certain others, but I think at this point it’s safe to say I DO like soup, but am just choosey.

Creamy soups are among those that appeal to me.  So when I saw this one I knew I wanted to give it a try.  It looked quite creamy in the picture….. mine however was not so creamy.  Before I explain I want to say though that it did not take away from my enjoyment.  It was just creamy enough to still seem like a creamy soup, but I guess I had just imagined it thicker.  The reason it wasn’t I can only guess at… but I think it may have something to do with the fact that I eyeballed my chicken stock as well as the amount I pureed at the end.  I actually think that I may have pureed more than 1/3 of the chunks because I did want to make it creamier, which left me with fewer chunks than I would have liked.  Jeff said he thinks the soup could have used a couple more potatoes so I guess he agrees with me.  This just depends on how creamy, chunky you like your soup.

We did both agree that it was a great soup though when it came to flavor.  Jeff said it was way better than Campbell’s.  It really did taste like loaded baked potatoes.  I loved the salty pieces of bacon in contrast to the creamy cheesy soup, and the bite of the onion, with the tang of the sour cream.  Another confession… I made the entire package of bacon and we still could have used more for the leftovers.  What can I say…. we like our bacon!

Another change I made was to use half and half instead of the whole milk and cream.  I just replaced it as the 1 1/2 cups, but I divided it as suggested in the recipe.  The recipe just says to salt and pepper the soup to taste, and I used about 1 tsp. salt along with a good handful of turns on my pepper mill as suggested by the original poster.  As she pointed out, potatoes do require a good bit of salt to bring out the flavor.  Just remember that there will be a saltiness from the bacon as well… and some more than others.  So start with a little, taste it, and go from there.

This is a great comforting soup to warm you up on those chilly fall nights for sure!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Yield : 10-12 servings

Ingredients :

  • 8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or the entire thing if you are like me)
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • sour cream, for garnish
  • sliced scallions, for garnish

Directions :

  1. In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until all the fat has rendered. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and drain off all but 1/4 cup of the drippings.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and then add the celery and onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium and then add the cubed potatoes, stirring to combine. Cook the potatoes for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the chicken stock. (The chicken stock should just cover the potatoes, so depending on your pot, you may have to add more stock.) Bring the soup to a simmer then cover the pot and cook the soup for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  4. In a separate medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to make a roux. Stir the roux constantly for 1 to 2 minutes until it’s pale golden then whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook it, stirring constantly, until it’s thickened slightly. (It should be the consistency of gravy.) Whisk the milk mixture into the potato mixture and cook the soup for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat. Transfer 1/3 of the soup to a medium bowl. Using a hand blender, purée the soup that’s remaining in the pot until it’s smooth. (or a blender if you don’t have one.) Return the reserved 1/3 of the soup to the pot, stirring to combine.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream and season the soup with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, top each bowl of soup with the cooked bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and scallions.

Recipe from Just A Taste

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