Baked potato soup is another recipe we are going to file under "Things my wife has been suggesting I make for a while." I have been hesitant to make baked potato soup for two reasons. Baked potato soup is inherently not the healthiest thing in the world since it is a potato and cream-based soup. And, also, baked potatoes take a stupidly long time to make.
I love baked potatoes, but they have no right to take over an hour to make, so I've been putting this recipe off for a while. Now that we have all the time in the world, I finally found the time to give this a whirl.
Baked potato soup is creamy, carb-y goodness (which I feel like is a theme of my quarantine diet lately), and it is super filling. People love soup, but I usually look at it like a side dish or appetizer rather than a full meal.
Man, I miss restaurants. This soup is not the kind of soup you start a meal with. This is the kind of soup you unbutton your top button and relax on the couch for two hours afterward. That's a shared soup experience, right?
Baked potatoes are stupid and delicious. They're stupid because they take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half in the oven. When I posted on my Instagram story about baking potatoes taking forever, people messaged me about different hacks they love.
Some people making them in their Instant Pot. Other people make baked potatoes in their air fryers. I followed the Bon Appetit recipe for baked potatoes. Yes, I had to look up a recipe. I love baked potatoes, but I almost never make them because they take over an hour.
Bacon, Onions, and Cheese - What's not to love?
To start the soup, dice up bacon and fry it up in a stock pot. I like to slice the bacon instead of cooking and crumbling because you can cook all the bacon at once instead of cooking it in shifts. Once you cook your bacon, reserve it for later but leave the bacon grease in the pot.
Next, you're going to dice the onions and fry them up in the bacon grease. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot; doing this adds the smokiness from the bacon throughout the soup.
You don't just leave the bacon in there because it will get soggy in the soup. When the onions are finally done (about 5 minutes), you're going to add the garlic. Remember, don't ever trust a recipe that tells you to put garlic in at the same time as the onions--the garlic will burn and become bitter.
Creamy soup is the best soup
Typically for a creamy soup, you would add flour and butter, but you can add flour directly to the onions and garlic because the bacon grease is still in the pot.
Once you add the flour, stir it for around and let the grease soak up the flour and cook it for about a minute before adding the cream. For this soup, I use my favorite milk-alternative cashew milk, but you can use your preferred milk.
Once you add your milk, add the potatoes and bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Once the soup is simmering, taste and salt.
I added 3 tsp of kosher salt and 2 tsp of pepper--this is all about personal preference and the brand of bacon you use. Let simmer for about 10 minutes and add cream cheese and greek yogurt.
To blend or not to blend?
I like a chunky potato soup and would have been totally cool eating the soup as is. Not only does a chunkier soup photograph better (seriously, I didn't realize how hard it is to photograph soup in a desirable way), but eating a chunkier soup makes it feel more like a meal.
My wife likes it smooth. As a compromise, I was going to blend half of the soup, but I accidentally blended the whole thing.
Blending the soup made the soup thicker and creamier than I expected. I should have expected this though because it is the same idea behind my Corn Chowder. The soup was super creamy and amazing.
If you don't have an emersion blender, you have to get on that train and pick one up. I use it all the time. You can find the one I use here.
Baked Potato Soup has the best toppings
You can throw in the cheese scallions, and bacon directly into the pot and serve. It would be delicious, people would cheer, and it would be the best. Alternatively, you can serve them all as toppings on the side. For those on WW, this can give you more control of your points.
I fold the cheese directly in to melt it (do you really want to portion out cheese topping today?) and I threw the scallions in before serving.
I serve this with extra cheese, extra scallions, bacon, Greek yogurt, and *surprise* extra baked potatoes. I didn't know how many potatoes I needed to use for this soup, but I'm not mad. Like I said before, I like a chunky soup so adding cubed up potato at the end was perfect. You should try it.
Comfort food at its finest
This soup is so damn filling, and baked potato soup is such a comforting and hearty soup. Quarantine isn't fun, and things aren't always smooth sailing working at home with kids even without an actual pandemic going on.
This soup was a huge hit with my whole family including my daughter who "doesn't like potatoes" as if that's a real thing. If you make this, and I hope you do, I hope it brings a little bit of comfort to your home as it did to mine
- 4 medium-sized baked potatoes (more if you want to garnish with potato–I highly recommend)
- 8 slices of center-cut bacon (I love Wegmans’ brand)
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 7 cups unsweetened cashew milk (or any preferred milk)
- 2 oz shredded cheddar (more if you want extra for garnish)
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (more if you want extra for garnish)
- 1 oz Neufchatel cheese (1/3 fat cream cheese)
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- kosher salt and pepper
- Dice bacon and cook over medium heat in a stockpot until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, but keep bacon grease in the pot.
- Cook diced onions until onions are translucent and soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add garlic and sprinkle the flour all over the onion mixture. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Slowly pour in the cashew milk while stirring to make sure there are no lumps. Add potatoes and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Taste and season to your liking. I added 3 tsp of kosher salt and about 2 tsp of black pepper. Add cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and stir until melted.
- If you want the soup smooth, blend the soup with an emersion blender.
- Fold in cheese and scallions. Serve and top with bacon, cheese, greek yogurt, and maybe more baked potatoes if you’re feeling wild.
WW points: G9 B9 P5