Loaded baked potato soup is the simple, luscious bowl of comfort I crave in colder months – The Washington Post

When the temperature dips and I cannot seem to warm my toes, the one thing that usually takes the chill off is a bowl of hot soup. If there is no gumbo tucked away in the freezer that I can thaw, I’m apt to slurp a bowl of wonton soup or a dig into some variation of chicken soup with rice or noodles.

Or, if I’m making it myself on a weeknight, I’ll conjure potato soup, because it is so easy and luscious. A loaded baked potato soup is one of my favorites. This one-pot version, which I adapted from Eating Well — because it’s January and so, of course, I am thinking about eating healthier — comes together in about 40 minutes.

It’s simple. You fry a couple of slices of bacon. Set that aside. Then fry a little onion and garlic in the bacon fat. Next, dice the potatoes and add them and broth to the pot, then simmer until tender.

You can make a chunky soup by removing and mashing half of the potatoes and then returning them to the pot. Or, if you prefer a smooth soup, use an immersion blender to puree the potatoes in the pan; or, transfer the potato mixture, in batches, if necessary, to a blender and puree.

To add creaminess, stir in a little sour cream and cheese.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top it with crumbled bacon, more grated cheese and a sprinkling of chives or scallions.

I used reduced fat sour cream and found it hit the mark. I also used no-salt broth. You may want to add 1/4 teaspoon of salt after tasting, but remember, you are going to crumble bacon on top, so maybe hold off until after that first taste. Also, this recipe calls for a half-cup of cheese, which didn’t seem like enough to me, but I found it plenty cheesy, because you sprinkle a little on top of each bowl just before serving and get melty bites as you dig in.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (2 to 3 medium), scrubbed and diced
  • 4 cups no-salt chicken or vegetable low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or finely chopped scallion greens, for serving

Step 1

Set a paper towel-lined plate or a rack near the stove. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain, leaving the oil and bacon drippings in the pan.

Step 2

Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Step 3

Using a slotted spoon, transfer about half the potatoes to a bowl and mash until almost smooth but still a little chunky. Return the potatoes to the pan along with the sour cream, 1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) of the cheese and the pepper.

Step 4

Cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the soup is heated through, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Step 5

Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the crumbled bacon, the remaining cheese and the chives or scallion greens, and serve.

Nutrition Information

(Based on 4 servings.)

Calories: 449; Total Fat: 29 g; Saturated Fat: 7 g; Cholesterol: 54 mg; Sodium: 316 mg; Carbohydrates: 34 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 2 g; Protein: 15 g.

Adapted from Eatingwell.com.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.