This is comfort food overload.
It’s cheesy, potato-y, bacon-y, and is everything you could want on a Sunday afternoon while watching football (or Fixer Upper). It’s literally all of my Midwestern roots scooped into one giant bowl with more cheese and bacon on top.
And the silly thing about it, is I actually lightened up this Loaded Cheesy Baked Potato Soup quite a bit. Here are my lightening up secrets (but don’t tell anyone, just let ’em eat it and enjoy it):
- Nixed the heavy cream and swapped in evaporated milk – a trick for making creamy and thick soups without all the cream
- Cut back on the amount of dairy in general and used a few cups of stock, which adds a ton of flavor but lightens it a bit
- Added some delicious secret seasonings like celery salt, dry mustard and fresh lemon juice – if you don’t have these on hand, do itttttt
- Kept the skins on the potatoes for more fiber and to eliminate the annoying step of peeling potatoes – you’re welcome
- Didn’t add 4 cups of cheese, even though I wanted to
Just a FYI, though: I don’t not use heavy cream. I love it. I just don’t think it needs to be used in this soup to make it creamy and comforting and delish. That’s all.
Also, how is it 50 degrees in December? I don’t understand it, but I love it.
Although I hope it still puts you in the mood for this soup. Remember I said cheese and bacon, which are clearly year-round foods.
- 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes*
- 4-6 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken stock + more if needed
- 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
- 1 tsp. coarse salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. celery salt
- ¼ tsp. dry mustard
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Splash of fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- ¼ cup chopped chives or green onion
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet or aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until slightly soft. Remove from the oven and let cool. Chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces (leave skins on) and set aside.
- Heat a Dutch oven or stock pot to medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook 8-10 minutes, until crispy. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain. Add butter to the pot, then add onion and saute 4-5 minutes, until soft. Stir in garlic and saute 30-60 seconds, until fragrant. Whisk flour in until bubbly. Whisk in 2 cups stock and bring to a simmer until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk and cubed baked potatoes. Stir in salt, pepper, celery salt, dry mustard, cayenne pepper and fresh lemon juice. Use a potato masher to mash about half of the potatoes (leave half chunky). Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese until melted. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Add additional stock if soup is too thick.
- Serve in bowls with crispy bacon, remaining ½ cup cheddar cheese and chives or green onion.
- *Any potato works for this recipe. If you use reds, leave the skin on. If you use russet, peel them first.