So, you know it’s cold. My friend Amanda makes fun of me when I say it’s freezing here, but it is currently 13 degrees outside and is supposed to get down to 8 or below tonight, so my all measures it’s effing freezing. And so we need soup!
There was a restaurant we used to go to a TON in undergrad; it was right near campus but was kind of a legit restaurant instead of one of the fake Aramark restaurants that take your meal plan and have kind of the same foods at every location. This was locally owned and had this baked potato soup that was just ridiculously good. Now, I’ve spent years trying to recreate it and am definitely not there yet, but this version of baked potato soup is REALLY good. I cheat time by “baking” the potatoes in the microwave, and half of them get pureed and half of them stay in pieces so that we don’t have soup that’s too smooth. I have a thing with really smooth soups – I like them, but I also have a hard time counting them as a meal.
So, chunky soups ftw.
The ingredients are easy! You’ll need potatoes, celery, onion, green onions, cheddar, heavy cream, vegetable (or chicken) stock, and sour cream. EVEN BETTER is if you have leftover baked potatoes because then this soup takes approximately 5 seconds to make. Approximately.
Like I said, I prick my potatoes all over and microwave them for about 20 minutes until they’re super tender, then I let them sit until they’re cool enough to handle. While that’s happening, start on the rest of the veggies! Heat a large soup pot to medium heat with some olive oil, and chop the celery and the onion.
Increase the heat to medium-high and let the liquids come to a boil. While that’s happening, use your fingers to peel most of the potato. The skin should come off easily! Don’t worry about getting every little bit – some skin adds great texture to the soup.
Now, when the stock and veggies come to a boil in the soup pot, add 2/3 or so of the potatoes to the mixture.
Stir everything together, and use a blender or immersion blender to combine the soup into a puree. It should be really smooth, so be patient! Also be careful that you don’t blow up your kitchen if you’re using a regular blender. I hear that happens.
Now, I know that loaded baked potatoes come with bacon a lot of the time, but due to the fact that I have a gazillion vegetarians in my life we’ll just have to be ok with it this one time. But…you could totally start this dish with bacon fat, or crumble some bacon on top for serving. Just saying.
Even without the bacon, though, this is ridiculously good. Super creamy and flavorful, even though the flavors we’re using are pretty simple. That’s what makes a loaded baked potato so good though, right? Very familiar, comforting flavors. Bring it on, 8 degrees. We’ve got this.
- 4 large baked potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces cheddar, grated
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
- In a large soup pot, add the celery and onion with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes until slightly softened, then add the stock. Cook for 5 more minutes to heat the stock through, then add 2/3 each of the chopped potato and the cheese, the cream, and the sour cream. Stir to combine.
- Using a blender or immersion blender, carefully puree the soup until very smooth. Return to the pot, and add the remaining chopped potatoes and most of the scallions. Stir, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Garnish with extra cheese and scallions, and serve!
- I bake my potatoes in the microwave for about 25 minutes, but use any cooking method you like!