I’m a big potato soup fan, but I’m kind of picky about my potato soup. O’Charley’s is famous for their loaded baked potato soup, but to me, it’s too think and too cheesy. I still want to taste the potatoes when I’m having potato soup. A lot of potato soups are just too thick. I want a little body to my soup, but I don’t want it to feel like mashed potatoes in my mouth. And canned potato soups—well, after you’ve had homemade, they’re just a little sad.
So, several years ago, I started making my own potato soup. Sometimes, I make a loaded baked potato soup with tons of cheese and sour cream stirred in at the very last moment. But sometimes, I just want something simpler and more homey, so that’s when I pare the recipe down and make a savory potato soup that I don’t mind eating as leftovers.
And after you try it, you’ll want to eat it all, too!
4 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed*
8-10 slices of bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
7-8 cups of milk (You can use part milk and some chicken stock for flavor if you like. This is also give-or-take, so you can add more or less when the soup reaches the consistency you like.)
4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2/3 cups butter
In a large stock pot, melt the butter. When it has melted, whisk in the flour. When combined, gradually stir in the milk (or milk and chicken stock), stirring constantly until the roux is thick and coats the back of the spoon well. At that point, stir in the baked potatoes, chopped green onions, and crumbled bacon. Season with 1 tsp salt and pepper (adjust to your taste). Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer.
At this point, I added about 1/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. I just wanted a little of cheddar’s taste and color, so I just added a little. You can add up to 1 1/4 cups if you’d like a cheesier soup. Also, if you want to make a loaded baked potato soup, this is when you’d stir in 1 cup of sour cream. I didn’t choose to do that this time, but I have before and it’s delicious! Allow the soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes, then ladle into a bowl and top with a little finely shredded cheddar cheese.
* I have washed the potatoes really well and cooked them in the oven, then cubed them and used them in the soup. I’ve also recently discovered a product at the grocery store called Simply Potatoes. It’s basically potatoes already cubed and ready to cook. I used those in this soup, but you would probably want to pop them in the microwave for a bit before adding them to the soup so that it won’t take too long for them to cook through. Read the package for how long to microwave them.