|A thick and creamy soup with all the goodness of a loaded baked potato - bacon, butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onion.|
Loaded Baked Potato SoupI blame the creation of this Loaded Baked Potato soup recipe on Facebook. Yep. One day Randy, a reader over there, posted on the wall asking for potato soup recipes so, of course, I gave him links to my Creamy Potato Soup, and my Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup with Bacon. Then, I started thinking... one of those is a shortcut soup and is creamy; the other I used the immersion blender on, so it is also creamy. I really need a chunky potato soup up here on the site.
Then, just a little while later that very same day, Donna posted on the wall that she had made the O'Charley's Loaded Baked Potato copycat soup and it was delicious. Well, there wasn't getting potato soup out of my mind then for sure!
She just used an internet recipe from one of those recipe mines, so I checked a few out and while they all sounded pretty good, many were a little too heavy on the cream, half and half and sour cream than I felt they needed to be, so I set out to develop my own version of a loaded baked potato soup.
Most recipes for loaded potato soup also incorporated mashed baked potatoes, if they even actually use baked potatoes at all because a few use things like frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, or even frozen mashed potatoes. All of these make a fine potato soup, but to me that doesn't really qualify for what I'd call a "baked potato" soup. I definitely wanted the authentic flavor of real baked potatoes and the added texture they would give to the soup. To save time, bake the potatoes in advance and store them in the fridge or plan this dish following a meal where you include baked potatoes and bake up some extra.
The soup still has all the goodies of a loaded baked potato in it - bacon, butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onion, and of course I included a few dashes of hot sauce, along with some of my favorite Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning. Sauteing some basic veggies in bacon drippings and butter first was a great base, to which I then made a light roux, followed by a broth base and a combination of milk and half and half. Later in went the sour cream, freshly grated cheese, and green onions along with a nice repeat of some ingredients in the garnish. Layers of flavor y'all - that's what it's all about!
This produced a nice, thick and creamy soup as a background to the tender chunks of barely peeled baked potato, a little different from your usual loaded baked potato soup, and simply delicious. It turned out exactly the way that I had hoped it would, and would be a perfect warm meal for this current cold snap.
Serve this soup with some Buttermilk Biscuits or better yet, how about some Garlic Cheese Biscuits?
Recipe: Loaded Baked Potato Soup©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish©
Prep time: 45 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings
- 6 medium sized potatoes, about 1-1/2 pounds
- 6 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 cups of diced onion
- 1/2 cup of diced celery
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 5 cups of chicken stock or broth
- 1-1/2 cups of milk
- 1-1/2 cups of half and half
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 6 turns of the pepper grinder
- 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
- Couple dashes of hot sauce
- 1/3 cup of sour cream
- 1-1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/8 cup of sliced green onions
- Additional cooked crisp bacon or bacon bits, for garnish, optional
- Additional sliced green onion, for garnish, optional
- Dollop of sour cream, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes and prick several times with a fork or the tip of a knife. Bake directly on the oven rack for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Let cool, then peel off just the outer layer of peeling and then cut into chunks. Don't worry if some of the chunks break up - it will only add to the creaminess of the soup base. The potatoes can be baked a day or so in advance and stored in the refrigerator, if desired.
Cook the chopped bacon over medium heat in the bottom of a soup pot until tender, but not crisp. Add the butter and melt; saute the onion and celery with the bacon about 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic; cook another 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour in, a little at a time, stirring until all of the flour is fully incorporated. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly about 5 minutes. Bring the heat up to medium high and begin adding the chicken broth a little at a time, stirring constantly, until all of the broth has been incorporated and mixture is smooth. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring several times.
Stir in the milk, half and half, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, and potatoes. Increase heat and bring mixture up to just before a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook another 15 minutes, stirring several times. Stir in the sour cream, cheese, and green onions and simmer just until cheese has melted and everything is heated through. Garnish individual bowls with a small pinch of shredded cheese, green onion and crumbled bacon.
Cook's Notes: Rather than using mashed potatoes or a frozen potato substitute, I definitely wanted the authentic flavor of real baked potatoes and the added texture they would give to the soup. To save time, bake the potatoes in advance and store them in the fridge or plan this dish following a meal where you include baked potatoes and bake up some extra.
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