Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Who doesn’t love a bowl of hearty soup? My Aunt Beth turned me on to this soup years ago, and I find myself making it about once a year, and always around this time of year. Let’s face it, it’s cold in Wisconsin, and when you finally get inside of the house, you need something to stick to your ribs, and get your warm, really quick. This is where the loaded baked potato soup comes into play.

Recently, my coworker gave me a handful of really great thick cut, smoked bacon from Usinger’s. If you are not aware of Usinger’s, it is a nationally recognized family business, located in Milwaukee, who is known for its sausage making. When I took a smell of the bacon, and looked at how thickly sliced it was, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it; cook it really slow on the stove top, rendering out all of the fat, and putting int into this delicious bowl of soup. Let’s get started, as I can already smell it, and taste the real comfort of this soup!

  • 6 medium sized Russet potato soup, baked and cooled
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 8 slices of thick cut, smoked bacon, diced, and cooked
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup of all purpose flour
  • 6 cups of milk
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Start by forking your potatoes, and placing them in a preheated 400 degree oven, on a sheet pan, for nearly one hour. Once they are tender, remove them from the oven and let them cooled. Once cooled, peel away the skin, and cut into bite sized cubes. Next, get your soup pot out, and on low heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add in the flour, and whisk to combine. Make sure it is nice and smooth. This will become the base for the thickness of the soup. Slowly stir in the milk, cooking on low to medium heat, until the mixture becomes thickened. This process will take about five minutes.

During this time, cook your bacon. Next, add in your cooked, diced potatoes, and both onions, reserving a bit of the green onions for garnish. Continue to stir as you do not want the mixture to burn on the bottom. Reduce your heat to low, and cook for about 15 minutes, to let the flavors combine. Stir in your cheese, sour cream, add in a generous pinch of pepper, a bit of salt, and the cooked bacon, making sure you reserve some for garnish.

Ladle a heaping scoop inside of your soup bowl, garnish with a bit more cheese, scallions, and the thick cut bacon. Dig in and enjoy this very comforting soup. By the way, if you are feeling more adventurous, you can add in some cooked broccoli to the mix, but be assured, that you will want to take a little nap after this meal!

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