Cooking On A Budget: Baked Potato Soup

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baked Potato Soup


I originally made this soup back in 2013 after having sampled a baked potato soup from a local purveyor of foods to go while working in an office in the 1990's. Many years later I made my own version based on what I remembered of the flavors in the soup.

It was during January and the east coast had been hit was some pretty heavy snowfall. My husband was luckily still busy with carpentry work during this time and even had one of our friends helping him out. Our local store had had a sale on baking potatoes and I had a ton of them available so before they could go by the wayside I decided to make this soup.

The soup came out unbelievably good. My husband and our friend loved it. I made it at least two more times that season and my husband has been requesting it again this year. Well today was the day I decided to re-make this incredible soup. I even impressed myself with how great it tastes. You just can't screw this soup up. There are too many great ingredients in it.

Baked Potato Soup is rich and it's creamy and filling. You get the wonderful taste of the potato and bacon and sour cream combined with the flavor of the cream and the cayenne pepper comes through as a gentle heat at the back of your throat. All the ingredients work together harmoniously to make a complete meal. Stored properly in the refrigerator the soups lasts 4-5 days, but I doubt you'll have it for very long -  it's that good.
  • 10 small russet potatoes - baked in a 400 degree oven for about an hour
  • 1/2 lb. of good lean bacon - cut
  • 1 medium sized sweet onion (about 1 1/2-2 cups) - medium dice
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour (for making a roux)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt - or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper (finely ground)
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper - or to taste

 See, you can have the bacon and onion in with the fats and the flour and make the roux.

Then you whisk in the broth and the milk until the roux if fully incorporated.

Next you add some more black pepper, the cayenne pepper, chives and heavy cream.

And after you have added the baked potato pieces and puree some of the soup you add the sour cream and cheddar cheese. I know, I know this is rich and fattening! But it's hearty and filling and scrumptious.
  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat render the cut pieces of bacon until crispy. Drain and set aside on a paper plate. DO NOT discard the bacon fat as that will add flavor to the soup. Cooks Note: This time around I left the crispy bacon right in the pan and then added in the onions to start the roux. You may want a little extra bacon for garnish but that is up to you.
  2. Add in the diced onion and cook down for a few minutes until translucent. At this time I added in some freshly ground black pepper to start layering in flavor.
  3. Add the butter to the pan and melt down then add in the flour. Stir and cook until the raw taste of the flour is gone. This will take stirring and cooking for a few minutes.
  4. Next add in the chicken broth and whisk well to incorporate the flour. Turn the heat down to a medium low and slowly pour in the milk.
  5. Stir and then add in the spices and the bacon bits (unless you've already added in the bacon).
  6. Add the heavy cream and the chives.
  7. When your baked potatoes are cooled enough to handle, cut them into bite sized pieces. Leave the skin on. (Or, if you prefer you can peel them.) I happen to like the skin of a baked potato.
  8. Make some potato pieces small and some large. Add the larger ones to the pot and cook for a few minutes. With a hand held blender blend the soup a bit. Taste for salt and if it needs it add a pinch or so.
  9. Last add in the smaller pieces and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  10. Finally add in the cheddar cheese and sour cream and keep stirring while they melt into the soup. Let this cook for another 5 minutes covered and you are ready to ladle up some soup.

Time to eat this hearty filling bowl of deliciousness!

Be sure to heed the directions about baked potatoes and when the soup is finished and you are ready to store it away you must cool it down (in the pot) by placing the pot in your kitchen sink with lots of ice cubes and some water. Then transfer the soup to containers to refrigerate them.

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