This delicious Loaded Baked Potato Soup is filling, soul-warming, and tastes like a loaded baked potato in the form of a rich, creamy soup. This homemade potato soup recipe is easy, kid-friendly comfort food.
Fall has arrived, and our all-too-hot summer temperatures have finally begun to wane. Fall triggers the soup season in our house. My love of soups runs long and deep, and I look forward to the autumn weather each year so I can serve up our favorite soups and stews while the weather is cool enough to enjoy them.
This year, I’m jumping into soup season earlier than usual with this delicious Loaded Baked Potato Soup. It’s filling and soul-warming and tastes like a loaded baked potato in the form of a delicious, creamy soup.
Mmmmmmm, soup, how I’ve missed you. Welcome home, my friend. Welcome home!
I try soups everywhere I go, so first, let me tell you about a great place to get a bowl of the best baked potato soup if you are in the Portland area, you’ve got to try Cafe Yumm! Cafe Yumm potato soup is excellent! If you’re a soup lover, you will find their selection amazing!
Now, let’s get down to the details of how to make potato soup, shall we?
What’s the best Bacon for this easy Potato soup?
Go just about anywhere and a loaded baked potato means generous amounts of crispy bacon and shredded sharp cheddar cheese along with a pad of butter, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkling of sliced green onions or chives. Each of these individual flavors compliments one another so deliciously! When a soup utilizes so few ingredients, each of them has to absolutely taste great on its own.
The bacon has to be meaty, smoky yet salty, and bursting with great bacon-y flavor! After all, the flavor of the bacon is ultimately going to be center stage in this soup. It just can’t be helped; it’s just who bacon is – don’t hate. For this dish, I started with Wright Brand Bacon that I picked up at my local grocery store. It’s sold in the refrigerated section where the bacon and breakfast sausage is sold.
As the package suggests, Wright Brand Bacon really is “bigger, better bacon.” I mean, seriously, just look at it! It’s quality you can see. Once you taste it, it will become the brand you trust. I know once I tried it, I was hooked.
In the great bacon battle, which is your favorite flavor? I’m an Applewood girl, myself. I use Applewood chips in my own smoker when we smoke meats and the Applewood bacon definitely tastes great in this recipe.
What’s the best Cheese for the Ultimate Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe?
For the cheese, I prefer a good, strong New York or Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar cheese. I want the flavor of the cheese to really stand out instead of shrinking into the background of the creamy soup base. If your palette does not prefer sharp cheddar cheese, try a mild shredded cheddar or even a Colby jack. If you’d like to add a hint of spice go for a jalapeno jack (pepper jack) cheese.
What are the best potatoes for hearty potato Soup?
These are so many potatoes in the market these days, it can be difficult to select the perfect potato for your recipe. For this baked potato soup, I like Russet but Idaho or Yukon Gold are also very good choices for baking potatoes.
You could opt to forgo baking the potatoes and boil them instead – in that case, reach for Yukon Gold, fingerling or red-skinned potatoes as they hold their shape best when boiling. The ease and quickness of boiling the potato is very tempting to me but baking them in the oven does impart a much richer potato flavor.
This takes me back to my original point which is we want to coax the very best flavors out of each of the ingredients in our recipe since there are so few main ingredients. Granted, baking the potatoes is more timely, but it’s hands-off and unsupervised for 45 minutes and does ultimately produce the best flavor.
Shhhhh! This Can Be Our Little Secret: I Often Use Leftover Baked Potatoes Or Bake Them On Another Day When I’m Going To Be Using My Oven Anyway For Dinner. Then I Just Peel Them, Rough Chop And Add Them To The Soup.
Ingredients for Baked Potato Soup
Each ingredient in this recipe serves a specific purpose in contributing to the flavor, texture, and overall appeal of the baked potato soup. Together, they create a harmonious and comforting dish that balances richness with freshness.
** You can find the full recipe ingredients and instructions on the printable recipe card below.
- Russet Potatoes, Idaho Potatoes, or Yukon Gold: These types of potatoes are commonly used in cooking due to their starchy texture. When cooked, they become tender and can absorb flavors well. They’re crucial in dishes like potato soup, as they provide body and substance to the soup while also releasing starch that can help thicken the broth.
- Bacon: Bacon adds a rich and smoky flavor to the soup. The rendered fat from cooking the bacon also serves as a cooking medium for sautéing onions and garlic, enhancing the overall taste of the soup.
- Onions: Onions are a foundational ingredient in many recipes, including soup. They provide a savory and slightly sweet flavor base, enhancing the overall depth of the dish. When sautéed, they release natural sugars and develop a golden, caramelized flavor that contributes to the soup’s complexity.
- Garlic: Garlic adds aromatic depth and a slightly spicy, pungent flavor to the soup. Its presence complements the other ingredients and contributes to the overall savory profile.
- Flour: Flour is used to create a roux, which is a mixture of fat (in this case, bacon fat) and flour. This mixture serves as a thickening agent for the soup, giving it a creamy consistency and helping to bind the ingredients together.
- Chicken Broth, Vegetable Broth, or Water: Broth or water serves as the liquid base of the soup. Broths add flavor, while water can be used when you want the other ingredients to shine. Broths can be rich and savory, enhancing the overall taste of the soup.
- Half and Half or Milk: Half and Half or milk contributes to the creamy texture of the soup. It adds richness and a velvety mouthfeel. The choice between the two depends on your desired level of creaminess.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese or Your Favorite Cheese: Cheese is often used to add a luxurious and indulgent element to potato soup. Sharp Cheddar cheese, in particular, brings a tangy, intense flavor that pairs well with the mildness of potatoes. The cheese melts into the soup, further enhancing its creaminess.
- Salt & Pepper: Salt enhances the overall flavor of the soup, while pepper adds mild heat and depth of flavor. Proper seasoning is essential to make all the ingredients shine.
- Green Onions (Scallions) or Chives for Garnish: Green onions or chives are used as a fresh and vibrant garnish. They add a pop of color, a hint of onion flavor, and a pleasing contrast to the richness of the soup.
How to Make Baked Potato Soup?
** You can find the full recipe ingredients and instructions on the printable recipe card below.
- Bake the potatoes.
- Cook the bacon and set aside, then cook the onions and garlic in the rendered bacon grease.
- Create the soup base by forming a roux and then adding the broth or water.
- Stirring in the baked potatoes and cheese.
- Garnish with bacon, cheese, and chives or green onions (scallions).
Why this Baked Potato Soup Recipe Works
This recipe’s success lies in the careful selection of ingredients, the sequence of cooking steps, the balance of flavors and textures, and the skillful use of techniques to create a potato soup that’s both comforting and memorable.
- Layered Flavors: The recipe incorporates ingredients like bacon, onions, garlic, and cheese, which provide layers of flavor. The initial step of cooking the bacon creates a foundation of smokiness, while sautéed onions and garlic add depth and aromatic complexity to the soup.
- Textural Contrast: The choice of using starchy potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Yukon Gold helps create a creamy yet slightly chunky texture. The potatoes break down partially while cooking, thickening the soup naturally and contributing to a satisfying mouthfeel.
- Creaminess: The addition of half and half or milk brings a creamy richness to the soup without overwhelming the other flavors. This creaminess adds a velvety smoothness to each spoonful.
- Balanced Broth: The choice between chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water allows for customization. Broths infuse the soup with savory notes, while water lets the other flavors shine more prominently.
- Cheese Element: The addition of sharp Cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese) introduces a luxurious and tangy component. The melted cheese further enhances the creamy texture and contributes a delightful flavor contrast.
- Fresh Garnish: The garnish of green onions or chives adds a burst of freshness, a subtle onion flavor, and a pop of color to the soup. This finishing touch elevates the presentation and taste.
- Comforting and Familiar: Potato soup is a classic comfort food, and this recipe stays true to that essence while incorporating nuanced flavors. The familiarity of the ingredients combined with a touch of creativity makes it a reliable and satisfying choice.
Recipe Tips and Kitchen Tricks:
- Preparation and Organization: Before you start cooking, gather and prepare all your ingredients. This will streamline the cooking process and prevent any last-minute scrambling.
- Bacon and Fat: For evenly cooked bacon, consider baking it in the oven on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. This method reduces splattering and yields crispy bacon slices. Save the rendered bacon fat to use for sautéing onions and garlic. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the soup.
- Sautéing Onions and Garlic: Sauté the onions until they turn translucent and slightly caramelized. This brings out their sweetness and enhances the overall flavor of the soup. Add the minced garlic a little later in the sautéing process to prevent it from burning and becoming bitter.
- Creating the Roux: When making the roux with flour and bacon fat, cook the mixture for a minute or two to eliminate the raw flour taste. This ensures your soup won’t have a floury flavor.
- Vegetarian potato soup recipe – replace the bacon with vegetarian bacon.
- Vegan Potato Soup: Omit the dairy and bacon to create a vegan version. Use vegetable broth, plant-based milk, and toppings like vegan cheese, coconut bacon, or toasted nuts.
- Potato Cheese and Broccoli Soup: Introduce broccoli florets to the soup and create a delightful combination of flavors. The cheese and broccoli play off each other beautifully.
- Potato Corn Chowder: Add sweet corn kernels to the soup for a delightful pop of sweetness and texture.
- Spicy Potato Soup: Incorporate diced jalapeños or red pepper flakes to add a spicy kick to the soup. Consider using Pepper Jack cheese for an extra layer of heat.
- Gluten-free potato soup recipe – replace the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour and be sure to make sure your bacon is also gluten-free.
- Sweet Potato Soup Recipe – Here’s a tested recipe from Delish.
Serving Suggestions for baked potato soup:
- Crusty Garlic Bread or Garlic Biscuits: Serve the potato soup with slices of crusty garlic bread or warm garlic biscuits. The bread is perfect for dipping into the creamy soup and soaking up all the delicious flavors.
- Homemade Cornbread: Make your own cornbread with a drizzle of butter and a sprinkle of honey.
- Side Salad: A simple mixed greens salad with a light vinaigrette can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the soup.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- 4 large baking potatoes (Idaho, Russet, Yukon Gold) [See Note 1]
- 12 slices thick-cut Wright Brand Bacon Applewood Smoked flavor (about 1/2 package)
- 1/2 medium sweet onion , diced fine
- 1/2 tsp garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken stock low sodium [See Note 2]
- 2 cups half and half [See Note 2]
- 8 ounces sharp Cheddar , grated [See Note 3]
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3 green onions (scallions) chopped, green part only [see note 4]
- grated cheese
- green onions
- sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the potatoes on a sheet tray or directly onto the oven rack and bake for 45 minutes – or until done. The potatoes are done when a fork or tip of a knife inserted into the potato goes into the center of the potato easily.
- Meanwhile, slice the bacon into thin strips and cook in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside.
- Into the remaining bacon fat, add the diced onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Now, add the flour to the onions and garlic and stir to combine. Continue cooking for another minute or two – but do not brown.
- Pour in the chicken stock and milk while you stir well to incorporate. Cook over medium heat until the soup has thickened, stirring quite frequently, about 10-15 minutes.
- While the soup is thickening, slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then scoop the potatoes out away from the skins and then add them to the soup. With a fork or the back of your spoon, break up the potatoes a bit.
- Add the 3/4 of the bacon pieces (reserving 1/4 for garnish) and half of the grated cheese to the soup. Stir until the cheese has melted. Taste and adjust the seasonings well with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and ladle into bowls. Garnish with extra bacon, grated cheese and green onions.