Baked Potato soup is one of the few soups my whole family loves. While I love soup, the hubby and kiddos are not huge fans. The taste of bacon and cheese may contribute to their love of this soup, but can I really blame them for that? Baked potato soup is very simple to make, so I use it for an easy weeknight dinner.
Start with 6-8 medium sized potatoes. I change the amount of potatoes depending on the size I have on hand. If you are shopping specifically for this soup and purchase baking potatoes, four will be plenty. Wash the potatoes and make several slits in each with a sharp knife. Then put them in the oven to bake at 425°F for 45-60 minutes. Baking time will be dependent on the size. Don’t forget about the slits! The slits act as vents for the steam to be released from the potato while baking. No slits and your potatoes will potentially explode from pent up steam and leave you with potato mess all over your oven.
When potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skins or make them into a delicious appetizer, your choice. I usually snack on a few skins, covered with butter, while I am cooking. The best time to remove the flesh of the potato is when they are piping hot, right out of the oven. Once the potatoes cool, the consistency of the flesh gets sticky and scooping it away from the skin is more difficult. I wear an oven mitt on my left hand to keep myself from getting burned while I am working. Set potato flesh to the side.
Place a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. Add a stick of butter and heat until melted. Add your chopped onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent. I use whatever onion I have on hand. I prefer to use green onions because I like the color and texture in the soup, but never let the type of onion keep you from making this soup. I have literally used white, yellow, Vidalia, red, and green onions in this soup and it turns out delicious with each of them. Add flour to the butter and onions and stir to combine.
Add 8 cups of milk to the pot. Using a wisk, combine the milk and your flour mixture. Raise temperature to medium high, stirring constantly. Turn temperature down to low when liquid starts to thicken. You need to be very cautious during this step, because milk will scald very easily. To avoid burning, I turn the temperature down as soon as I get the smallest inkling of thickness. If at the end of the process the soup is still too thin for my taste, I will thicken more with cornstarch and water.
Now it is time to season our soup. Add dill and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the baked potato flesh into the pot and stir to combine. Next, sprinkle the cheese into the pot and stir to combine. The cheese will melt into the soup. At this point you need to decide if the soup is thick enough for your taste. I like a thick, creamy soup, so as I said before, I use cornstarch to thicken my soup. Put 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 1 cup of water. Stir the mixture to combine and pour into pot. Raise heat to medium high and stir constantly until soup thickens. We are now ready to serve!
Ladle soup into bowl. Garnish with chopped cooked bacon, shredded cheese, and chopped chives or green onions.
Some people may call this a winter meal, but we enjoy it year round. It reminds me of a loaded baked potato and is definitely hearty enough to be a meal for my crew. The longest portion of the process is baking the potatoes. This step can be done ahead to save time on the evening you plan to prepare the soup. Prepare the potatoes and put them in the refrigerator, so they are ready and waiting. Happy Cooking!
Baked Potato Soup
- 1 small onion, chopped
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup flour
- 8 cups milk whole, 2%, 1%, Skim
- ¼ - ½ tbsp dried dill
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- ½ -1 cup shredded cheese cheddar or colby jack work best
- 6-8 medium potatoes
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- Shredded Cheese
- Chopped cooked bacon
- Chives/Chopped green onions
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Wash potatoes and cut slits in them with a sharp knife. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
- Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Put to side.
- Place large pot or Dutch oven on stove over medium heat.
- Add butter to the pot and melt completely.
- Add onion to the pot. Stirring frequently, cook until onions are soft and translucent.
- Add flour to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Pour milk into the pot. Increase heat to medium high. Wisk ingredients together, stirring constantly until liquid begins to thicken. Turn temperature down to low.
- Spoon potato into the pot stirring to combine. Add shredded cheese and stir until cheese melts into soup.
- If soup is too thin, mix cornstarch and water together, add to pot. Raise heat to medium high, stirring constantly until liquid thickens to desired consistency.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese, bacon, and chives.