The baby requested loaded baked potato soup so we made it happen. This is a super simple and fairly quick dish. We shopped for this already so we have everything on hand and are ready to go.
I decided to do some fancy things with this just because I can. Why have a regular potato soup when with just a few steps and ingredients you can make a super soup?!
We are going to go thru this in a different order than our previous dishes. I am going to start with the recipe because the dish unfolds from there.
- 1-5 pounds of potatoes- it’s a personal taste
- 2 pints of half and half
- 32 oz Vegetable broth
- 1/2 pound bacon- 1/2 cooked extra crispy and 1/2 cooked regular crisp
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 leek- optional but this is a must if you choose this step
- salt, black pepper, ancho pepper if you like, onion or shallot powder, powdered black garlic or granulated garlic and dried dill
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
We are going to start with the optional part because it cooks for almost the entire time that the soup cook, again if you want pain potato soup skip almost all of this and see the paragraph with the *.
I have a flattop griddle or plancha so I can cook half of my half pound of bacon at a time and this is what I did, saving all of that lovely grease. Once the bacon is cooked take almost all of that grease from the pan and put it in a jar or bowl or something to keep it handy and out of your drain. In that same dish put in the half of your taters that you cut the smallest. We did thin slices and then cut the slices into 1/4ths but you can dice yours if you want. Either way, we want to brown and crisp theses small bits of potato and the leeks that will get added once the taters are about 1/2 done. I put a layer of potato bits down in the last bit of grease and let them soften for about 6 minutes before I spread the leeks on. I don’t use much salt for this since the bacon grease is salty but I did add some garlic and pepper.
While the bacon is cooking you can be boiling the bigger chunks of potatoes. I added some powdered bullion to the water so the taters will absorb some of the favor and the bullion has salt in it so you don’t need to add any of that. You will want to make half of the bacon super crispy because it will be stirred into the soup and you don’t want it to be soggy. The other half of the bacon can be cooked to a regular cripsness.
So we have potatoes boiling and sauteing and we are standing around waiting on things to happen in one pot and stirring the other so too many things don’t happen. While this passive stage of cooking happens you can open a beer, pour a glass of wine, ,get a snifter of whiskey or you can make some butter for the bread that you may or may not have or you could have a drink and make some butter. I happen to have leftover bread from last week so I opened a beer and made butter.
- Open beer and pour into the glass of your choice, spoil yourself and use some of that wedding glassware that forever lives under the cupboard
- Make butter. We planned ahead and we got our butter out of the fridge and put it on a plate next to the stove so that it will soften up, if you haven’t that is OK just soften the butter in the microwave but be careful not to melt it. This making butter also uses one of those wedding gifts, the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. If you have unsalted butter than you will need a pinch of salt to go along with what ever other seasonings you have chosen. We picked dried dill, black garlic powder, shallot powder, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Plop the butter and seasonings into the mixer, set on 2 or 3 and let it whip for 7 or 8 minutes.
By the time your butter is finished your potatoes that are on the boil should be finished, they just need to be fork tender we aren’t going for a mash here. Before you strain the potatoes scoop out some of the water that they cooked in, only about 2 cups, because if you want the soup thicker later then we need this water.
Put the drained potatoes back in the pot and add about 1/2 or 16 oz of the veggie broth and use your immersion blender to smooth out about half of the potatoes. This smoothing step will also help with the thickness of the final dish. Bring this partially smoothed potato mixture up to a simmer and add 1 pint of half and half and continue to simmer for a few minutes to determine thickness and amount. Taste at this point to make sure it has the level of flavor you want as the broth and cream will dilute whatever you have achieved. I add the dried dill and ancho chili powder to this step so that the flavors can simmer down and get cozy with the rest of the flavors. My soup wasn’t thick enough for my liking so I made a slurry with some cornstarch and a bit of the potato water and added it to the simmer
At the same time that you are creating the base for the soup those potato bits and leeks should still be cooking away, as they cook down you can add more of the bacon grease to keep them simmering and absorbing flavors.
At this point you should be 45 minutes in having crisped all the bacon, gotten the potato slices and leeks on the brown, the other potatoes boiled and the base started. To your soup base add about half of the bacon and let it go on the simmer for 3 or 4 minutes and taste. The bacon should put out a bit of grease and flavor into the soup and you don’t want to cook it too far past just tender or you will be chewing bacon for days.
Once you have added the bacon to the soup and let it simmer for a couple of minutes take it off the heat and let’s get it dished up!
Dish up the soup then top with some of the crispy bacon, shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream!
* If you just want a plain potato soup: boil all of your potatoes in just enough water/broth combo to cover them for about 10-15 minutes depending on how mushy you want them. With a minimal amount of broth being used there should be no need to drain them so just add both pints of cream and bring back to a simmer and enjoy.
Thanks ya’ll!! Happy cooking!