This week I’m making another one of our favorite foods: SOUP! The perfect meal in a bowl, this one has plenty of vegetables and fresh, whole-food ingredients. Loaded Baked Potato Soup is one of my favorite soups for a crowd. It’s easy to make in a big batch and potatoes are a crowd-pleaser in just about any form. Who can refuse rustic comfort food like a loaded baked potato? I’m taking all the ingredients and flavors of a loaded baked potato and making a rich, creamy soup perfect for serving your gang.
When I’m serving soup for a crowd I like to use smaller portions. These little cups are a great size to have a taste or two and not feel like you’re over doing it. Let’s be honest, most of us are trying to eat wisely. When the portions are small, tasting everything seems less damaging.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Serving Size: approximately 5 quarts
- 6 slices thin bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 whole medium onion, diced
- 3 whole carrots, scrubbed clean and diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 6 whole, small russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp. Cajun Spice Mix
- 1 tsp. minced fresh parsley and/or green onion
- 1 cup grated cheese of your choice
- Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Do not clean the pot.
- In a heavy soup pot on medium-high heat add 2 Tbsp. of the bacon grease, the onions, carrots and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper and Cajun spice.
- Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender.
- In the bacon skillet, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour with whisk until smooth. Cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in 2 cups of the milk. Pour milk mixture into potato mixture. Add more salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with whisk. Simmer until potatoes are tender.
- Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in batches in a blender/food process until completely smooth. Use caution when blending hot soup. If possible, allow the soup to cool to room temperature before blending. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.
- Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.