Add this hearty loaded potato soup to your wintertime rotation and you’ll have plenty of full bellies and compliments to go around.
I have a few recipes that I only make at certain times of the year. I know you do too. Potato soup, chicken pot pie, baked macaroni and cheese–these are my winter go-to dishes. And since it’s an ice-rain-snow-rain-repeat sort of situation here in Kentucky, it’s time for some warm soup.
I guess it could be time for lots of other things, like a game of Guesstures with a six and eight year old but that just gets messy. Especially when your son thought you said the word was “underwear” when it was “underwater”. You don’t want to know what movements he came up with for that one.
I have firewood to bring in and I’m putting it off. The wind’s blowing, the ice is clinging and the temperature is dropping. I don’t wanna! But that’s how we do things here. My husband treks out at 5 a.m. on the tractor to feed the large animals and I do the small ones. The chickens (who are hiding their eggs in the hay in the barn and I can’t find them), and the dogs, and I pull a cart to the barn to fill with two days worth of wood at a time.
See? A little (or a lot) of potato soup will do me good today. This recipe is loosely based on one from my childhood that was more broth-based. Less milk, more water and no cheese. I’ve really bumped this one up a notch but if you would like to go lighter on the calories, feel free to use skim milk, or less milk in general and more broth. It will be thinner but the flavor will be very similar. Cheese is optional too. Sometimes I add rotisserie or roasted chicken breast, broccoli, or other veggies. That’s all up to you.
What’s not optional? A nice full belly.
Loaded Potato Soup
- 6 medium potatoes peeled and diced all the same size (about 1 )
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 cloves large or two small garlic , minced
- ½ yellow onion finely diced
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium reduced fat or a bouillon mixture is fine)
- 2 cups milk (skim 1%, 2% or whole)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 4 ounces Velveeta or shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the bacon in a large pot slowly until it renders and is mostly crisp. About 7-8 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.You can finish it in the microwave if it's not done enough.
- Add the butter and melt.
- Add the onion and cook until just softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, garlic, and bay leaf and stir well.
- Pour in the stock just to cover the potatoes and ONE cup of milk.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil uncovered and cook until the potatoes are tender. About 20 minutes depending on their size.
- Turn off heat, and with a potato masher by hand, or a fork, smash the potatoes until all large chunks are gone, or leave a few if you like it that way.
- Add the parsley.
- If you want to add chicken or extra veggies, do it now.
- Add the final cup of milk and the cheese and return to medium heat until the cheese melts and the soup is heated through. Another 5 to 6 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf if you can find it.
- Serve warm with crusty rolls and garnish with crumbled bacon, green onions, and cheese if desired.
- Reheats well and freezes great too!
- Weight Watchers Points+ value: 9 points (approximately) in 1 ¾ cups. (Points are an estimate only and not endorsed by Weight Watchers)