I have made this soup so many times since I came upon the recipe five years ago that I can’t remember the dark and gloomy “pre-Baked Potato Soup” era. This recipe has many, many things going for it, not the least of which is that those concerned about fat grams and/or calories can eat the soup with a light sprinkling of the available toppings and call it a day, while those looking to set a world record for fat grams consumed in one sitting are free to pile on the cheese and bacon. I’m not naming names, but both of the above-cited groups are represented here on Forest Street.
This is also quick to put together, and can be even faster if you microwave the potatoes. I’ve made it with the potatoes microwaved and baked, and I have to say there isn’t a significant difference in taste or texture. You may also choose to use lower fat milk (I do), turkey bacon (not a hit here, but maybe at your house), and whatever kind of cheese you have in the house that can be crumbled or grated. I also use lots more cheese than the original recipe calls for, because…it tastes better that way. If you are baking potatoes for another dinner, add four more and you have this meal halfway done. If you are a vegetarian, omit the bacon or use soy bacon.
Play with this, have fun, and if you live in the frozen North as I do, warm yourself up!
Baked Potato Soup
(Adapted from Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2002)
- 4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
- 1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling on finished soup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
- 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
Preheat oven to 400°.
Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash. Discard skins. Or, microwave potatoes until tender (poke with a fork first), peel and coarsely mash.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Sprinkle each serving with cheese, onions, and bacon.