Loaded Potato Soup – Creamy soup is loaded with chunks of potato, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon. A sprinkling of diced scallions gives this soup the full loaded potato look and taste.
Hello soup season! The weather has turned cool here so that means comfort food is on the stove and/or in the oven. And what’s more comforting than a warm bowl of soup?!
I tend to focus on making brothy soups but every once in a while I like to make something thick and hearty. One of the latest favorites in my house is one of those comforting soups, my Loaded Potato Soup. It’s a creamy soup but without an ounce of cream. The texture comes from a roux that gets thickened with whole milk and chicken broth. Potato, cheddar cheese, bacon, and sour cream gets added to give the soup all the flavors of a loaded baked potato.
Making this soup
Like most other soups, this soup starts out by cooking the protein first to build on that flavor. The bacon get’s crisped in the Dutch oven before it is removed and drained. It is removed so it doesn’t get overcooked in the pan while we add in the rest of the ingredients. But don’t worry – we’ll add it back later.
Next, the onions are cooked with butter to soften them up. Garlic is added once the onions are softened and cooked until fragrant. This only takes about 30 seconds.
Now it’s time to add the flour to make the roux. The flour is whisked with the onion and butter mixture until a paste forms. The liquids are added to the paste very slowly to turn the paste into a thickened, creamy soup base.
Precooking the potatoes
While you’re prepping the soup base, the diced potatoes are cooking in hot water. But don’t cook them entirely all the way. We want to add them to the soup when they are soft to the bite but still have a firmness to them. This ensures they stay in tact when they are added to the soup.
Finishing off the soup
Once the soup based is made, the cooked potatoes are added to the soup. Sour cream, cheddar cheese, and seasonings are also added to the soup, plus half of the cooked bacon. The soup is heated through and then read to be served!
Tips & Tricks
- Cook potatoes al dente. Don’t cook the potatoes too much or you risk them getting mushy and falling apart in the soup. Cook them when they are just soft enough to the bite.
- Add liquids slowly. When using a roux, you must add liquids to it slowly so the roux stays thick. If you drown it, you risk the soup staying liquidy.
- Season your soup at the end. There are many things that are getting added to the soup that are already seasoned – potatoes, bacon, cheese – so don’t add salt until all ingredients are in the soup so that you know what the salt levels are before adding more.
Loaded Potato Soup
- 4 large Russett potatoes peeled and cubed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces bacon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ medium onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup sour cream
- teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- sliced green onions for serving
- Add peeled and cubed potatoes to a large pot. Fill with water until it's one inch above the potatoes. Add 1 teaspoons of salt to the water. Cover and place over medium-high heat until water is boiling. Remove cover and continue cooking until al dente. Drain and set aside until later in the recipe.
- Diced bacon into small pieces. Cook in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crispy, about 8 minutes. Scoop out cooked bacon and drain on paper towels. Do not discard bacon drippings.
- Add butter and onion bacon drippings and continue to cook over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Do not let the onions burn so make sure you stir occasionally. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add flour to onion mixture and whisk together. Continue to whisk for about 2 minutes. Slowly add milk to the mixture to roux to let it thicken up. Do the same with the chicken broth. Bring soup back up to a simmer. Add in the potatoes and stir.
- Add cheese to the soup in 1/4-cup bunches, whisking after every addition. This prevents clumping and helps the cheese melt evenly. Add half of the cooked bacon and the sour cream. Stir to combined. Taste the soup and then season, as needed.
- Serve soup immediately with the rest of the cooked bacon, sliced green onions, and more cheese on top.