I went to Heaven twice this past weekend. The first time was when my sister and I made this most delicious, loaded, baked potato soup. The second time - was when I made the soup again the next day! I'd sent a bunch home with my big sis since we'd cooked it up together - it's so much more fun to share the wealth ;-) But by the time my husband put clams and a handful of bay shrimp in his half of what was left, and my daughter and I had a bowl each - it was gone! And I have to tell you....this soup is SO freaking amazing I had no choice but to make it again.
Not only is this soup PERFECT when made to the letter of the recipe below - but I believe it could very well be the grand base for a million other soups (*note- the original recipe calls for whole milk - the first go-'round we used 2% as I never buy whole milk and it was PLENTY thick. Round two, I used skim as that's what I always buy and it was a thick and velvety as the first batch - trust me). I'd first halve the amount of potatoes in it and I'd probably dice them whereas in the original recipe, you simply put the scooped out chunks tater of any size right into the pot. Depending on what other ingredients I'd add, I also might use my immersion blender to make the soup silky smooth with tates rather than chunky at all. BUT...think of the varieties of soups you could make just by tossing in your favorite ingredients! Like I said, the hubs threw in a can of clams and a small handful of bay shrimp to create Slumgullion - but what I wanna try is a bag of frozen super sweet corn and a can or two of green chilies! But what about leftover ham, or sweet or spicy sausage? Maybe roasted garlic cloves or roasted peppers and onions - Holy Moly the list is endless...ENDLESS I'M TELLING YOU! Besides the fact that I adore this soup 'as is', it may be my my newest fave recipe only because it's SO versatile and I can make it the way I want it when the moods strikes me..whatever my mood might be! If I've ever wanted you to try ANYthing on this site before...this is THE one thing I beg you to cook up. It's super easy, really fast and insanely good!
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
9 baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups skim milk (can use 2% or whole as well)
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup bacon bits
4 green onions, chopped
10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
1, (8 ounce) container sour cream
Prick potatoes with a fork and cook in the microwave until soft baked (you can do this step ahead of time if you choose). Scoop out the baked potato flesh into bowl. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly till mixture bubbles, then cook a minute more to dispel a flat 'flour taste'. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly (will be very thick when first few additions of milk are whisked in - just keep whisking and adding in all milk). Stir until this mixture begins to thicken - about 5 minutes. Add in potatoes, salt, pepper, bacon bits, green onions and the cheese. Stir to incorporate. Add in sour cream and heat through. Serve topped with additional bacon, onions and cheese if desired.