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Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

Lately the weather has actually been very fall-like in New Orleans.  Which is fantastic because some years we go straight from summer weather to winter weather.  The weather is odd here, that’s for sure.  In times like these I really like to eat things that warm to the core of my very being.  Something like this loaded baked potato soup recipe.  It’s got all my favorite ingredients – bacon, potatoes and cheese – and is very easy to cook.

Loaded Potato Soup

A quick side note here, gentle reader… While I’m actually posting this recipe today, I tested and photographed it quite a while ago. Hence, there aren’t many pictures.  This was back before I developed a better eye for photography and capturing pictures. From time to time we’ll get a recipe like that, but overall, I’ve definitely been aiming to have a larger variety of pics in my posts.  Anywho, not that it’s a “capital B” Big deal, but I felt the need to explain.  Now on to the recipe.

The base of the soup is the potatoes, of course.  I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes when I am making a potato soup or mashed potatoes because they are a soft and buttery variety of potatoes.  They purée well and have a creamy potato flavor to them.  I suggest starting this recipe like you would for potato salad or mashed potatoes – peel and dice the potatoes then set them to boil.  Since Yukon Gold potatoes are usually large, I suggest cutting them in half length-wise first then cutting each of those halves into six pieces.  This way the potatoes will soften faster while boiling.

Boiled Yukon Gold potatoes

The potatoes take a decent amount of time to cook so that gives you plenty enough time to prep the rest of the ingredients while you wait.  There’s not much actual cutting up that needs to be done after the potatoes – just the yellow onions, bacon and green onions.  The rest of the ingredients are either measured out or grated, as in the case of the cheese.

Loaded Potato Soup

One tip for easy bacon cutting is to freeze the bacon before trying to mess with it.  You want to freeze the slices individually by laying them out on a baking sheet or something comparable.  Once frozen, the strips can be stacked and placed into a Ziploc freezer bag or wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in the freezer until needed.  This is an easy and convenient way to always have bacon on-hand that’s fresh and easy to work with.

Loaded Potato Soup

Something to remember about cooking with milk is that it should never be boiled.  Take care to not let the milk come above a simmer.  The boiling temperature is actually too hot for milk and causes the proteins to separate, and ultimately, the milk will curdle and be nasty looking if allowed to boil.  Milk can be brought up to an active simmer, but that’s the highest you’ll want to go. This adds to the cooking time for sure, but is well worth it for silky potato soup.

Let’s get on to the recipe, shall we?

Yield: 1 gallon (8-10 servings)

Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

This loaded potato soup recipe is the perfect recipe for a cool fall or winter evening. The Yukon Gold potatoes create a creamy soup that's perfectly complimented by bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pound bag Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, halved length-wise, with each half cut into 6 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 strips of bacon, finely diced
  • 3 yellow onions, large diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Garnish:
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 strips of bacon, cooked crispy and cut into bits

Method:

Cooking the Potatoes:
  1. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water. The water should be about 2 inches above the potatoes. Add two tablespoons of kosher salt to the water.
  2. Set the heat to high and cook until potatoes are tender. When I made this, it took 20 minutes for the potatoes to come to a boil.
  3. When the potatoes come to a boil, reduce the heat to about medium-high and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. This took about 15 minutes after the potatoes came to a boil.
  4. Once done, drain potatoes and keep in a colander until ready to use. Do not rinse.
Cooking the Soup:
  1. While the potatoes are boiling, proceed to prep the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onions, bacon and one teaspoon of kosher salt. Sweat these ingredients for about 15-17 minutes until the onions are soft and the bacon is rendered. You don't want to brown the onions, just get them very soft.
  4. Pull the pot off of the stove and add the potatoes. Stir very well.
  5. Add the milk and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. There will still be bits of bacon. You just want to puree the potatoes.
  6. Put the soup back on the stove over medium-low heat.
  7. Stir in the two cups of cheddar, green onions, tablespoon of kosher salt and the cayenne.
  8. Slowly heat the soup. Do not let it boil or milk will curdle. This heating will likely take about 20 minutes or so.
  9. Ladle into bowls and garnish with as much cheddar and bacon as desired.

Prep:30 min

Cook:1 hour

Total:1 hour 30 min

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