Sure, the season may officially be called autumn, but the months of October, November and December may as well be called soup season in our book. From chicken noodle to chili to French onion to minestrone and everything in between, we cannot get enough soups and stews in the fall. And while those soups are all fine and good and comforting, there’s one soup that may just be the MVP of fall comfort foods: Loaded Potato Soup.
Potatoes often play backup on the weeknight dinner plate, with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes and cheesy potato casseroles serving as accompaniments to chicken dishes or other weeknight staples. But spuds are the star in this creamy soup.
To make this soup, first cook bacon and render its fat in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Then use all that scrumptious bacon fat to cook aromatics like garlic, celery and onion. Then, season everything generously with cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper before adding in the potatoes, cream and milk and let everything simmer together to maximize flavor. If you want, play around with the seasonings and customize this soup to your palate. Dried oregano, thyme or parsley could also be delicious and hearty.
Add more creamy goodness with cheese and sour cream, then blend everything together with an immersion blender, top with that bacon you cooked earlier, scallions, more cheese and maybe even a little more sour cream. After all, this is comfort food, go wild with the toppings.
If you’re using this recipe to dip into a massive 10-pound bag or potatoes you bought at the grocery store and still find you have more left, consider cooking up potato casserole, potato skins, roasted potatoes and more of our best potato recipes.
5 strips of bacon
1 onion, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
5 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
Scallions for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, cook bacon until crispy.
Remove bacon from the pot and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
Leave bacon grease in the pot and add 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil if necessary. Add onion and garlic to the pot and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add celery and keep cooking over medium-high heat until tender.
Make a quarter-sized open spot in the pot and pour olive oil onto that spot followed by the garlic powder and cayenne.
Let the spices toast for 30 seconds, then mix well with vegetables.
Add potatoes, cream and milk to the pot.
Season generously with salt and pepper, mix well and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
While the soup cooks, chop the bacon strips into small bits and set aside.
After cooking, blend the soup with an immersion blender or mash into a chunkier soup with a potato masher.
Stir in sour cream and cheese.
Serve hot and garnish with scallions, cheese and bacon bits.