This delicious Loaded 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. Even the picky eaters will be begging for seconds!
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 fall 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 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?
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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. It’s your soup, dress it up how you please!
What are the best potatoes for hearty potato Soup?
For the potatoes, 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.
So now, let’s put all those delicious flavors together. Yum.
What Ingredients are in Baked Potato Soup?
You will find full amounts and additional details on the printable recipe card below, but you will need:
- Russet Potatoes, Idaho potatoes, or Yukon Gold.
- Chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
- half and half or milk
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese or your favorite cheese
- Salt & Pepper
- Green onions (scallions) or chives for garnish
How to Make Potato Soup?
You will find full instructions and additional details on the printable recipe card below, but you will:
- 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).
Variations of Potato Soup Recipes:
Old fashioned potato soup recipe – Omit the cheese, bacon and scallions. Use evaportated milk, heavy cream, or milk in place of the half and half.
Vegetarian potato soup recipe – replace the bacon with vegetarian bacon.
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.
Vegan Potato Soup – Here’s the tested Taste of Home Recipe.
What to eat with potato Soup?
I prefer to serve ultimate potato soup along with breadsticks, garlic breads biscuits, dinner rolls, cornbread, a sandwich, or a salad with our potato soup for a complete meal.
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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.