Loaded Potato Soup

I made a huge mistake.

See, this recipe (from the wonderfully organized Framed Cooks) is insanely delicious, I made it once over the summer and Trusty Sidekick made it all by himself once too. So you know it is easy and good if he will put in the effort to do that. Seriously, Samwise would be proud to give this to Frodo and we all know how Sam feels about po-tat-oes.

Look at this. Don’t you want it in your mouth/stomach right now?

But, I did something horrible. I messed with it. I needed to make it again for this post, and because I wanted to add to the loaded potatoey goodness, I messed with it. Why? Well I actually had wholly innocent and well-meaning reasons.

The Trusty Sidekick’s mom is a great cook and so when we told her that Loaded Potato Soup was on the menu she was super nice and sent me her recipe so I could take a look and see how it compared to the one I already used. It was a bit more complicated but looked really good, so I decided to blend the two a bit and thought “Hey, it can’t hurt to tweak it a bit.”

WRONG.

Now sometimes this turns out fine, especially once I know how the original works and can get a feel for what will change. So don’t think you can’t go tweaking recipes. But in this one, isolated, incident it wasn’t so.

The soup tasted kind of watery and bland, no sense of the loadedness that it had the first times the original recipe was used. Please keep in mind, this was not the other recipe’s fault. I simply did not calculate out everything well enough when blending them. My bad. This was mostly due to my decision to go with adding about 3 more taters than I normally did. Guys, don’t do that. And then I just used some more milk to “compensate”. Don’t do that either. The recipe I will be giving you is the one we first used and has a wonderful ration of chunky potato to creamy soup so I highly recommend just sticking with it.

The two points in her recipe that I did like and will keep for you guys are putting the potatoes in raw (as opposed to baking them beforehand) and adding in some garlic powder at the beginning. The first change just streamlines the cooking more, and I felt that the taters absorbed some of the creaminess this way too. And I like garlic, so the garlic powder is staying. But you don’t need it if you are vehemently opposed to it. I don’t know your life.

So class, let’s go over why this is so easy on your sad, limp, sorry excuses for wallets.

  • The main ingredient is potatoes. True story guys, we bought a 10 pound bag for $5. SO MANY TATERS.
  • The second main ingredient is milk, which you use 2 cups of. That comes to maybe a dollar depending on how much you spend on milk.
  • The cheeseyness amount is up to you, so you can ration out however much you want according to what you have in the fridge.
  • Buying a little bag of Bacon Bits is about $1.50 (when I got them at least), and we didn’t even use the whole bag. If you are an amazing ‘Merican then you already have some bacon in your fridge so that works too. It can just be a little more pricey.
  • Chicken broth can be bought for about $1 a can, and maybe cheaper if you get it on sale. I also like to get a box of it, which gives you more broth and is close to the same price.

So, after hearing my tale of butchered soup try it yourself!

By the way, the light in the Trusty Sidekick’s kitchen (where I cook everything) was starting to go out, so I apologize for the lack of high-quality photos. It seriously looked like a flickering light from a haunted house, so we just had to make do with the light over the stove.

A visual checklist, minus bacon. Whoops.

Ingredients

  • 4 potatoes (Yukon Gold or Russet work well)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I buy a bag of frozen chopped onions and just throw a handful in for this, that way you don’t worry about keeping fresh onions around and no chopping!)
  • 1 1/4 C. chicken broth
  • 3 T. flour
  • 2 C. milk (as much as I love skim, 1% or 2% are better for this recipe)
  • 1/4 C. Fat-free sour cream (Reduced-fat is ok too)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 bacon slices, crumbled or use however much bacon your little heart desires
  • about 1/3 C shredded cheddar cheese (I didn’t measure out the cheese really since we just used it for topping)

Directions

  1. Scrub potatoes and peel them. A veggie peeler works best in my humble opinion, but a good knife would work too if you don’t want to invest in one. If you are so inclined, you can prick the taters with a fork and throw them in the microwave for a few minutes to soften them up for cooking later on. This is not necessary though, and I have never done it.
  2. Dice potatoes into chunks. Your own preference determines the size, I do recommend having them a bit smaller than bite-sized.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat (if you have an electric stove, watch you pot carefully as those are crafty little guys when it comes to keeping a consistent heat).
  4. Add in the onion and sauté for 3 minutes then slowly add in the broth.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour with 1/2 C. of milk. Add it to the pan. Add the remaining 1 1/2 C milk. Bring pan to a boil and stir frequently. Milk can burn if you don’t watch it.

    Here is how it looked after adding in the milk and flour mixture with the remaining milk.
  6. Add in potatoes and reduce heat to a low-medium. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Don’t be afraid to taste-test the potatoes for done-ness. When they start getting mushy, you can get a little rough with them in the pan (they like that) to mush them into the soup a bit more.

    With the potatoes.
  7. Once taters are done, remove the pan from heat. Stir in the sour cream and let the soup sit for a minute.
  8. Get your toppings ready.
  9. Dish out the soup and get your tater on.

    The finished product, all garnished up with goodies.

*NOTE: If you want a less chunky soup, simply fully cook the potatoes in the microwave for about 13 minutes and put them in as the last step. You will need to mash them up before adding them though. Also, why don’t you like chunks of ‘tato? Weirdo.

Hope the recipe produces bowls of steamy creaminess for all y’all. Comments and questions are always appreciated!

One thought on “Loaded Potato Soup

  1. Catherine,

    Another great post and I loved how you opened it. Knowing that you made a mistake basically FORCED me to read on and see what happened. Good job.

    One thing I noticed and might be helpful to your readers would be to add a “Meal Total” after the list of ingredient costs. That’ll show people that they can have great soup/salad/sandwiches/whatever at only $5.67 (or whatever it works out to be for each meal). Also, there’s no need to apologize for the lighting. I never would have even noticed without the attention being brought to it. Not big things, but it’ll keep the focus on the food and the writing (where you want it) the whole time.

    Another delicious-sounding meal and a great read. Awesome!

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