You can follow this recipe even if you haven’t made soup before. It is broken down into straightforward steps and uses common ingredients that are widely available.
Keep reading to learn how to make this delicious baked potato soup (Also check out Sausage Potato Soup).
What Is Baked Potato Soup?
Baked potato soup is a creamy, hearty dish that encapsulates the essence of comfort food. It combines tender chunks of baked potatoes with a velvety broth, often infused with flavors like garlic, onions, and herbs.
A generous helping of cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of crispy bacon usually crown this culinary masterpiece. Optional garnishes like green onions or sour cream add layers of complexity. Each spoonful offers a symphony of textures and tastes, making it the perfect choice for a satisfying meal or a cozy appetizer.
History Of Baked Potato Soup
The origins of baked potato soup trace back to rustic kitchens and family hearths. Rooted in European culinary traditions, particularly from Ireland and the United Kingdom, this dish evolved to utilize abundant potato crops.
The introduction of dairy elevates it from a simple stew to a luxurious treat. Over time, it crossed the Atlantic, finding a home in American comfort food cuisine.
Here, innovations like the addition of bacon and cheese emerged. The soup has since become a staple in households and restaurants alike.
Interesting Facts About The Baked Potato Soup
- Versatile Base: Baked potato soup can easily switch between a vegetarian and non-vegetarian dish based on your choice of broth.
- Nutritional Value: Despite its creamy texture, the soup can be a good source of essential nutrients like fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C, thanks to the potatoes.
- Toppings Galore: From crumbled bacon to chives, the choice of toppings is limited only by your imagination, making each bowl customizable.
- Global Twist: Chefs worldwide add local flavors, such as truffle oil in France or spicy peppers in Mexico, to make their dishes.
- Holiday Favorite: In the United States, baked potato soup often appears on Thanksgiving and Christmas menus, symbolizing comfort and family togetherness.
- Meal or Starter: It serves as a satisfying standalone meal and a rich appetizer, offering culinary flexibility.
- Slow Cooker Friendly: This soup can also be made in a slow cooker for those with busy schedules, infusing flavors over time.
What Makes The Baked Potato Soup Special?
- Comfort Factor: Its creamy, rich texture embodies the very essence of comfort food. This baked potato soup oozes comfort food. It is the kind of dish you turn to in the winter when you want something to warm you from the inside out.
- With some assistance from milk, chicken broth, and heavy cream to thicken it up. As well as some garlic, onions, and cheddar cheese for tons of flavor. As the title suggests, this is a baked potato served as a soup.
- This dish will become a household staple because it is quick to prepare and incredibly filling for the entire family.
- Also, you may adapt this recipe to include other flavors you like or keep it simple. Thus, there isn’t a reason why you shouldn’t give this baked potato soup recipe a go.
|Yukon gold potatoes||2 pounds|
|Chicken broth||2 cups|
|Whole milk||2 cups|
|Heavy cream||1 cup|
|Grated cheese||8 ounces|
|Yellow onion (finely chopped)||½|
|All-purpose flour||⅓ cup|
|Chives (finely chopped)||½ cup|
|Unsalted butter||4 tablespoons|
|Garlic (minced)||2 cloves|
|Black pepper||½ teaspoon|
- Potato Choice: Yukon gold potatoes offer a creamy, buttery texture ideal for this soup, but Russet potatoes work well too.
- Broth Options: For a vegetarian version, replace chicken broth with vegetable broth without sacrificing flavor.
- Milk Alternatives: If lactose intolerant, unsweetened almond or oat milk can be good substitutes for whole milk.
- Bacon Bits: Opt for thick-cut bacon for more robust flavor and texture. Turkey bacon also works as a leaner option.
- Cheese Choices: Cheddar lends a classic tang, but Gruyère or gouda can add a gourmet twist.
- Fresh Herbs: Fresh chives provide better flavor and color than dried ones. Snip with scissors for even cuts.
- Butter Quality: High-quality unsalted butter ensures better flavor control.
Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?
- Keto: Replace traditional potatoes with cauliflower florets and use heavy cream exclusively to maintain a low-carb, high-fat profile.
- Paleo: Opt for coconut milk instead of dairy, and use arrowroot flour as a thickening agent. Make sure your bacon is sugar-free and compliant.
- Gluten-Free: Swap all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour blend or cornstarch to thicken the soup.
- Whole30: Use ghee instead of butter, and ensure that the chicken broth and bacon are both Whole30-compliant. Skip the cheese and flour.
- Vegan: Replace all dairy with almond milk and vegan cream. Use vegan cheese and butter, and opt for vegetable broth. Omit bacon or use a plant-based alternative.
Creating This Soup For Vegetarians
- If you are following a veteran diet, you may make simple alterations so you can still enjoy this soup. Instead of using chicken broth, you can use vegetable broth, which will still have the same effect.
- It will provide flavor to the soup and help to thicken the soup at the same time.
- Furthermore, you can skip the bacon steps when following a vegetarian diet. Instead, you may need to add more salt and pepper to compensate for the flavor that the bacon would have provided.
- You could also add more vegetables if you wished, as well, and other seasonings like more herbs or spices.
Step 1: Create Base
Melt butter in a Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic; sauté 2-3 minutes.
Step 2: Potatoes
Add diced potatoes; cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
Step 3: Liquids
Season with salt, pepper, and flour. Add milk and broth gradually; cook until potatoes are tender (5-10 minutes).
Step 4: Mash
Mash potatoes lightly. Add cheese, cream, and half of bacon; simmer until thickened.
Step 5: Serve
Top with remaining cheese, chives, and bacon. Serve warm.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
- Southwestern Style: Incorporate corn, black beans, and a touch of chili powder for a Tex-Mex flair.
- Seafood: Add cooked shrimp or crab meat for a maritime twist.
- Vegetables: Sautéed mushrooms or spinach can add an earthy depth.
- Proteins: Consider diced chicken or tofu for additional protein.
- Cheese: Beyond cheddar, try blue cheese or smoked gouda.
- Herbs: Fresh dill, parsley, or cilantro can add color and flavor.
- Crunch: Croutons or even tortilla strips offer a delightful textural contrast.
- Spice: A drizzle of Sriracha or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes can heat things.
Scaling The Recipe
- Ingredients: Multiply or divide each ingredient by your scaling factor. If you’re doubling the recipe, use twice the amount; for half, use half.
- Pot Size: Ensure your cooking vessel is large enough for scaled-up versions or appropriately smaller for scaled-down ones.
- Cooking Time: While ingredient quantities change, cooking times may not scale linearly. Keep an eye on the potatoes’ tenderness and the soup’s thickness.
- Seasoning: Always taste and adjust seasoning accordingly, as the ideal salt and spice levels may not scale exactly.
- Serving: Be mindful of your serving dishes. Larger quantities require multiple serving bowls; smaller quantities are too scant for your original dish.
- Storage: If you’re scaling up, ensure ample storage for leftovers, whether in the fridge or freezer.
What Is Used For Garnishing?
- Cheese: A sprinkle of extra grated cheddar or a variety like Parmesan adds richness.
- Fresh Herbs: Chopped chives or parsley bring a burst of color and a new herbal note.
- Bacon Bits: Crispy bacon pieces add a smoky crunch that pairs well with the creamy soup base.
- Sour Cream: A dollop adds creaminess and a slight tang.
- Green Onions: Sliced thinly, they offer color and a mild, spicy kick.
- Croutons: These add a satisfying crunch and can absorb the soup’s flavors.
- Red Pepper Flakes: A sprinkle adds heat and visual appeal for those who like it spicy.
- Black Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper adds a finishing touch that complements almost any soup.
Can I Make Baked Potato Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?
- Preparation: On a stovetop, follow the initial steps of sautéing onions, garlic, and lightly browning potatoes.
- Transfer: Move the pre-cooked ingredients into the slow cooker, add liquids, and set on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Final Steps: Stir in cheese and cream, and allow to heat through before serving.
- Sauté Mode: This function is used to sauté onions and garlic in the pot directly.
- Pressure Cook: Add potatoes and liquids, then cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Quick-release the steam.
- Finish: Stir in cream, cheese, and seasonings. Use the sauté function if needed to thicken.
Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?
- Convenience: If you need more time, store-bought is a quick and easy option.
- Consistency: Commercial broths offer a consistent flavor profile, crucial when you want predictable results.
- Variety: You can find low-sodium, organic, or flavored versions easily.
- Flavor Control: Making broth at home allows you to tailor the flavors to your liking.
- No Additives: You can ensure it’s free from preservatives and excess sodium.
- Resourceful: It’s a great way to use leftover vegetable scraps or bones.
Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?
We advise using the suggested ingredients to get the most flavor from your soup. However, we know that isn’t always possible. Thus, we have provided some substitutions and suggestions to help you make this soup.
- Potatoes: In this recipe, Yukon gold potatoes are used; you can use russet potatoes if they are all you have.
- Bacon: If you are using bacon, we recommend keeping the grease from cooking the bacon and adding it to your soup. This will provide your soup with another layer of flavor that you can enjoy. However, this is entirely optional.
- Cheese: Anti-caking chemicals found in pre-shredded cheese hinder the cheese from melting correctly and can give the soup a gritty texture. As a result, we advise grating your cheese straight from the block, as it makes a huge difference.
- Dairy: If you’d rather, you can use low-fat milk. Although the heavy cream makes the soup extra creamy, you can skip it for a lighter consistency. Also, you may use vegan or dairy-free alternatives.
- Vegetables: Potatoes are the star of this recipe. However, you could add vegetables such as leeks, broccoli, Swiss chard, or asparagus for a green hit.
Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup
This baked potato soup, we have gathered some of the top tips we follow while making this recipe. Hopefully, these tips will help you when you follow our simple instructions.
Use Mild Cheddar
- In this recipe, we ask that you use cheddar cheese, as this type of cheese melts easily and provides plenty of flavor. In addition, it is best to stick with a mild type of cheddar cheese and avoid any aged or extra-sharp cheese.
- Since these types of cheeses won’t melt properly and could add more saltiness to the soup and become overbearing.
Keep An Eye On The Pot
- Continue to sauté the vegetables on a medium-low heat. Some potatoes, onion, and garlic will stick to the bottom of your pot if the heat is too high or you don’t stir it enough.
- Don’t worry if you notice any browning on the bottom of the saucepan. Once the liquids are added, these brown bits will be incorporated into the soup since the broth will deglaze the pan.
- The soup will taste better with browned parts but won’t look as light and creamy.
- The soup will become bitter if burned chunks are on the pan’s bottom. We advise transferring the cooked veggies to another container, rinsing the pot, and then adding the milk and chicken broth if the burned bits are in the pan.
Add Some Heat
- The recipe we have provided has very simple and clean flavors. However, you can modify this recipe to have a lot of different flavors if you wish.
- This can include adding more herbs if you want a more fragrant baked potato soup. Otherwise, why not add some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to add a subtle yet noticeable heat to the soup.
Think About The Texture
- Everyone enjoys a different constituency when it comes to soup. In this recipe, we suggest using a potato masher to help you achieve the texture you want.
- Usually, you will have a smooth texture with a potato masher, but there may be a few lumps. If you don’t like lumpy soup, place the soup in a food processor or blender and blitz until completely smooth.
If you are watching what you eat, you may be interested in this soup’s nutritional facts. These figures are based on a per-serving suggestion.
- Calories: 537.
- Protein: 17g.
- Sodium: 921 mg.
- Carbohydrates: 30 g.
- Fat: 0.3 g.
- Cholesterol: 104 mg.
Add more protein to this soup by adding chopped-up ham or shredded chicken.
Due to the milk and cream used in this recipe, it is quite a rich soup with many calories. Therefore, you can reduce this number by not using full-fat milk or cream.
We use unsalted butter in this dish to keep the sodium content of this recipe down. You may use reduced-sodium chicken broth to keep this figure down even more. By doing this, you can manage the amount of salt being added.
As a result, you can modify this recipe in many ways to suit your dietary needs. Yet, overall, this is quite a healthy recipe that focuses on vegetables.
What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?
Determining the exact calorie count for homemade baked potato soup can vary based on the specific ingredients used, their brands, and the serving size. However, a rough estimate for a standard recipe might be around 400-450 calories per serving (1 cup), considering the rich ingredients like heavy cream, cheese, and bacon.
Dietary Restrictions Of The Baked Potato Soup
- Gluten: The all-purpose flour used for thickening may not suit those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
- Dairy: With whole milk, heavy cream, and cheese, the recipe is unsuitable for lactose-intolerant individuals or those with dairy allergies.
- Meat: The chicken broth and bacon make it a no-go for vegetarians and vegans.
- High-Calorie: The rich ingredients may not align with low-calorie or weight-loss diets.
- Sodium: Between the broth, cheese, and bacon, the soup could be high in sodium, which is a concern for those monitoring salt intake.
Health Benefits Of The Baked Potato Soup
- Potassium: Potatoes are a good source of potassium, which is essential for muscle and nerve function.
- Protein: Chicken broth and milk contribute to the protein content necessary for tissue repair and maintenance.
- Calcium: Dairy ingredients like cheese and milk are rich in calcium, which is crucial for bone health.
- Vitamins: Onions and garlic provide essential vitamins like vitamin C and B.
- Fiber: Potatoes contain dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness.
- Antioxidants: Garlic and onions have antioxidant properties, which help combat inflammation.
How Can I Make Baked Potato Soup Lower In Sodium?
- Broth: Opt for low-sodium or sodium-free chicken broth, or make your own at home to control the salt content.
- Cheese: Choose low-sodium cheese varieties or use less cheese than the recipe calls for.
- Bacon: Skip traditional bacon in favor of low-sodium or sodium-free options. You can also omit it altogether.
- Seasoning: Be mindful when adding salt. Taste as you go, and consider using herbs like thyme or rosemary for flavor.
- Processed Foods: Avoid processed items like store-bought garlic salt that can sneak in extra sodium.
How Can I Make Baked Potato Soup Lower In Sugar?
- Milk: Opt for unsweetened almond or cashew milk as a lower-sugar alternative to whole milk.
- Broth: Some store-bought broths can have added sugars. Check labels carefully, or make your own at home.
- Cheese: Certain cheese types may contain lactose, a sugar. Stick with hard cheeses that are naturally lower in lactose.
- Check Labels: Ingredients like flavored bacon or certain seasonings may contain hidden sugars.
- Vegetables: Onions contain natural sugars. Use them sparingly if you’re concerned about sugar intake.
How To Serve The Baked Potato Soup At Its Best?
- Temperature: Serve the soup hot, but not boiling, to highlight its creamy texture and rich flavors.
- Garnish: Top with reserved bacon bits, extra grated cheese, and a sprinkle of chopped chives to add layers of flavor and visual appeal.
- Bread: A slice of crusty bread or a bread roll can make an excellent companion, providing a contrasting texture.
- Bowls: Use pre-warmed bowls to help maintain the soup’s temperature while eating.
- Accompaniments: Pair with a light, crisp salad or steamed vegetables to balance the soup’s richness.
Perfect Side Dishes To Compliment Baked Potato Soup Recipe
- While this soup is a filling meal, you could serve smaller portions and present them with various side dishes.
- As with any soup, this dish is best served with a slice of bread. The type of bread you choose is entirely up to you.
- Although sourdough bread is a great option to try something different. The sharpness of the sourdough works well with the sweetness and richness of the soup.
- However, if you don’t want such a heavy meal, you could serve this baked potato soup with a side salad instead. A simple side salad consisting of leafy greens works well.
- However, you could serve this soup with a range of grilled or cooked vegetables for a healthy side dish alternative.
How Long Can We Store The Soup?
Baked potato soup is simple, and you should make a large batch to have this soup on hand.
- Making In Advance: If you plan and make this in advance, we suggest you wait to add the final toppings, as these taste less excellent when reheated. Adding the toppings fresh when you eat the soup is always best.
- Refrigerator: If you have any leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container for around 3 to 4 days. Then, you can easily reheat it, as mentioned below.
- Freezing: You can freeze any leftover baked potato soup you have. However, you should be aware that sometimes freezing potato soup (Also check out Paula Deen Potato Soup) can produce a grainy texture once defrosted. Yet, this won’t affect the flavor at all.
- Reheating: When it comes to reheating a baked potato soup, if it has been frozen, you must allow enough time to defrost properly overnight in the fridge. Once ready, the soup can be heated on the stove on low heat. You must stir the soup now and then.
Add chicken broth to the soup since the potatoes may release more scratch, creating a thinner consistency.
Also, the longer you keep the soup on the stove, the thicker the soup will become. However, once it is warm all the way through, the soup is ready to be topped with bacon pieces (if using) and served.
Can I Make The Soup In Advance?
Making baked potato soup in advance can be a great time-saver. Prepare the soup up to the point of adding the cheese and heavy cream, then cool and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stovetop over low heat. Stir in the cheese and heavy cream as the soup warms up, adding any final touches like bacon and chives just before serving. This ensures the soup retains its rich flavor and creamy texture.
What Can We Do With Leftovers?
- Potato Casserole: Mix with vegetables and bake under a layer of cheese for a comforting casserole.
- Stuffed Peppers: Fill bell peppers with the leftover soup and bake until tender.
- Potato Pancakes: Thicken the soup with breadcrumbs, shape into patties, and pan-fry for quick potato pancakes.
- Sauce: Reduce on the stovetop to thicken and use as a sauce for meat or pasta.
- Chowder Base: Add seafood like shrimp or clams to transform it into a hearty chowder.
- Bread Bowl: Serve in a hollowed-out bread loaf for a delightful lunch.
- Frittata: Incorporate into a frittata mixture with eggs and additional veggies, then bake.
- Freeze: Remember, you can always freeze leftovers for a future quick meal.
Special Tools/Equipment Needed
- Making your homemade soup is a relatively simple task and doesn’t require many tools. This recipe for baked potato soup is one of the easiest recipes you will follow.
- You only need a potato masher, a wooden spoon, and a large stockpot.
- No fancy equipment or blends are required here. You could use a food processor if you wanted, but it isn’t needed.
- Since the potato masher allows you to easily create your desired texture and consistency. However, this step is entirely up to you and will depend on the thickness you wish to make.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Make This Soup Vegan?
It is quite simple to make this soup vegan, as you would follow the same steps for making a vegetarian version of this soup. However, instead of using dairy milk, you would use soy milk.
In addition to that, you would also have to create your cream by blending soy milk and raw cashews.
Making a few minor adjustments is straightforward, so this soup is perfect for anyone on a vegan diet.
Can You Leave The Potato Skins On?
You can leave the skins on your potatoes if you wish, as this will save you time and offer you more flavor. Yet, you must ensure you wash your potatoes properly, as you don’t want any pieces of dirt in your soup.
Furthermore, leaving the skins on will affect the final texture, as the potatoes may be a little more challenging to mash down. This isn’t a problem if you like slightly lumpy soup.
How Can You Add More Flavor To Your Soup?
Consider adding more toppings if your baked potato soup doesn’t taste flavors. In addition to this, you could add a squeeze of lime, lemon, or sour cream to the soup.
Adding more acidity will enhance the flavors already in the soup. The last thing you should do is add more salt and pepper, which may not provide you with the desired flavor.
Can I Use Olive Oil Instead Of Butter For Sautéing The Onions And Garlic?
Yes, olive oil can be an adequate substitute for butter, especially if you seek a dairy-free option. Olive oil offers a distinct flavor profile and is an excellent conductor of heat, suitable for sautéing.
What Are The Recommended Steps For Cooling The Soup Before Storing It?
Allowing the soup to cool to room temperature before storage is recommended for optimal safety and flavor preservation. Subsequently, transfer the soup to an airtight container and refrigerate. This method helps in retaining the soup’s quality while mitigating bacterial growth.
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