No canned soup can ever touch the hearty flavor of loaded potato soup made from scratch in your own kitchen. Bacon, onions, rich chicken stock, and sharp cheddar cheese make a hearty soup you’ll want to make over and over again.
Gluten Free | Make Ahead
Remember those restaurant style loaded potato soups we’ve all loved in the past?
The one so cheesy that whenever you dip your spoon in it comes out with strings of melty cheddar on the end?
There’s something so soul soothing about a hearty bowl. But you don’t have to go to a restaurant, and you don’t have to spend hours working on anything complicated to remember that feeling.
This loaded potato soup is simple but hearty.
What potatoes should I use for loaded potato soup?
A russet potato is really best here. Those are your typical greyish-brown potatoes that you can find in any supermarket. Russet potatoes have the right amount of starch to help thicken the soup but still leave it creamy.
A note on chicken stock
I’m always in favor of using homemade stock. It has an abundance of minerals and natural fats that your body needs. I often make my chicken stock in large batches and keep it in the freezer for recipes or just for sipping on.
If you can’t make your own stock, pick up a boxed version that is organic, and uses only ingredients that should be there. Watch out for carrot and mushroom juice, MSG, and preservatives. I like this brand by Pacific Foods:
I do not recommend using bouillon powders, or bouillon cubes in this recipe because their salt levels can be extremely unpredictable and may ruin your soup.
How to make loaded potato soup step by step
How to make this soup ahead
Cook your soup, cool it to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Your soup may form a thin skin on the surface. That’s just from the dairy in the soup , but it won’t make any difference when it’s reheated.
You can also freeze this soup once it is cooled to room temperature. Place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. The dairy in the soup made curdle slightly when thawed but it will not affect the flavor.
Loaded Potato Soup
- 6 russet potatoes medium size,peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 cloves large or two small garlic , minced
- 1/2 yellow onion finely diced
- 2 tablespoons butter I like Kerrygold
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken broth homemade is best, or a low sodium organic stock
- 2 cups milk 1%, 2% or whole
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt *see note 1
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until it renders and is mostly crisp. About 7-8 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.
- Add the butter to the bacon drippings 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!