What if you could have all of the delicious elements of a loaded baked potato in a bowl?
My Loaded Baked Potato Soup is not only easy, it’s a winner on game day for party hosts and guests alike. Serve the soup in mugs with a half a sandwich or some grilled toast. You can substitute reduced fat milk, cheese, and/or sour cream to trim calories and fat. If you do, would still add a tablespoon of butter and maybe a splash of heavy cream at the end just to give it a nicer feel and finish.
LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15-20 minutes
6-8 large red potatoes, peeled and diced
4 slices bacon, diced
1 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup yellow or white onion, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk, divided
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 teaspoons scallion, white and green tops, sliced thin
Peel and dice potatoes. Put in a pot and cover by one inch with cool water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until fork tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, add the olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until done and crispy. Remove the bacon to drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Discard all but 2 teaspoons of the drippings from the bacon. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in the drippings until translucent. Reduce the heat slightly. Add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You don’t want to brown the flour, you simply want to cook the raw flavor from it.
Using a whisk, add the broth to the flour, a little at a time, whisking to incorporate each addition so no lumps form. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching as the mixture thickens. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat; add salt and pepper.
When the potatoes are done, strain, reserving some of the cooking liquid to thin the soup if necessary. Add the hot potatoes to the soup. Use a fork or potato masher and mash the potatoes into the soup, leaving some texture and larger pieces of potato. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid or a bit more chicken broth if the soup is too thick. Stir in the sour cream and butter. Top with grated cheese, bacon, and scallions. Adjust seasoning if necessary, adding salt and pepper to taste.