Here’s a favorite family soup, “Loaded Baked Potato Soup.” It is a soothing soup; welcome on a cold winter night. When I bake potatoes, I often bake a few extra and then make this creamy, flavorful soup. There’s something about this soup made with potatoes — a comfort food — which is very satisfying.
My Baked Potato Soup follows a simple recipe. Then when serving the soup, add whatever toppings you desire–sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions and creative toppings such as broccoli to load the up the soup. The soup shown here includes bits of ham for flavor; this evening I made a variation with bacon. Or you can omit the meat for a vegetarian version.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Flavor
The key to making potato soup is to use potatoes with lots of flavor. Sounds simple, but some potatoes have very little taste. I have found that the giant, over-sized Russet potatoes sold at our local grocery store have the best flavor–so I always purchase these. Stick with what works. Here are three baked, left-over potatoes. They weight 1 lb 14 oz.
Russet potatoes are mealy, they tend to fall apart after baking which is what you want in a creamy soup. I leave some of the skin on, because most of the flavor and nutritional value resides in the skin.
For seasonings, I use an onions, pepper (either white pepper or black pepper), ground thyme and Tabasco sauce. Nothing complicated–but enough to add flavor and zip. I use sodium-reduced Swanson brand chicken broth in addition to low-fat milk which adds flavor. Many recipes use cream or half-and-half. I find that this soup, made with low-fat or skim milk, has plenty of flavor and not as many calories.
Making Baked Potato Soup
To make the soup, first bake and peel the potatoes. When potatoes bake, they release steam, so poke holes all over the potatoes with a fork or knife to let the steam escape. Coat each potato with a little peanut oil prior to roasting in the oven. Bake in a hot, 400 degree, oven for an hour. For this recipe I use about 2 lb of Russet potatoes which is 3 giant potatoes. This makes 6 servings.
After the potatoes cook, peel and dice. I usually mash one of the potatoes and leave the peelings on about half of the potatoes. A potato ricer, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, works for masking the potatoes; but these baked potatoes usually just fall apart.
Saute the onions until translucent. Next add the ham and saute a few minutes longer. If using bacon, I dice 4 pieces of bacon, fry until crisp, and then remove the bacon and most of the drippings. Saute the onions in just a little of the bacon drippings.
Next make a cream sauce with milk, flour and margarine. Here are the ingredients for the low-fat cream sauce.This is the same white sauce or cream sauce used in other blog posts, but it is easier to make. Add the margarine to the onions and ham on the stove, then the flour, then stir in the milk.Add in the potatoes, chicken broth and seasonings and heat everything through. That’s it. Enjoy this soup in on a cold, rainy or snowy night!
Loaded Baked Potato Soup by MayleesKitchen
- 2 lb Russet Potatoes or 3 very large baking potatoes, (6 cups baked, diced potatoes)
- Peanut oil
- 4 slices thin bacon, diced or 4 oz diced, cooked ham (1 cup diced ham)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp margarine
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup skim or low-fat milk
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans Swanson 33% reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/4 tsp white or black pepper
- 6 drops Tabasco sauce (optional)
- Favorite toppings, reserved bacon pieces, shredded Cheddar cheese, sliced green onions
Method and Steps:
- First, bake potatoes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash, dry and cut blemishes from potatoes. Poke holes in potatoes with knife or fork and coat with peanut oil. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for 1 hour.
- Let the potatoes cool until they can be handled. Remove part of the skin from two of the potatoes and dice. Remove skin from third potato and mash with fork or potato ricer. Set aside.
- If using bacon, add diced bacon to large heavy sauce pan over medium high heat. Fry until the bacon is crisp. Remove bacon pieces with slotted spoon and set aside. Remove most of the bacon grease, leave a little in sauce pan.
- Add onions to sauce pan with bacon grease and saute onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- OR, if using ham, first sauce onions in margarine until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add diced ham and cook one or two minutes longer until heated through. Resume with making the white sauce, beginning with adding flour to sauteed onions.
- Make a low-fat sauce. Add margarine to the sauteed onions in the sauce pan and stir until margarine melts. Then add flour and stir to combine. Remove sauce pan off the burner and slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly. Return to stove over medium heat, and cook and stir until the milk is combined and heated.
- And chicken broth, all the diced and mashed potatoes, ground thyme, white or black pepper and Tabasco sauce (optional). Cook and stir over low heat until bubbly and thickened.
- Pour into serving bowls and top with favorite toppings, including reserved bacon bits, shredded Cheddar cheese, sliced green onions.