Potato Soup is one of the most comforting soups you can ever have! This potato soup recipe is loaded with crispy bacon, soft golden potatoes, cheese, and green onions.
When it’s cold outside, comfort foods and warm soups are just what we need to warm up. Loaded baked potato soup checks all of those boxes! It’s easy to make, has an amazing flavor, and it’s comforting for your tummy and soul.
This soup has the best of the baked potato flavors in all in one comforting bowl. There is the hearty based of potato soup and all finished with bacon, sharp cheddar cheese sour cream, and green onions.
This homemade potato soup, is so much better than the one you can get at Panera or any other restaurant. Plus, you will have the whole batch all to yourself. You can even make a double batch for a big family dinner!
Ingredients In This Potato Soup Recipe
Every ingredient is simple and inexpensive, making this a budget-friendly meal for any occasion. In fact, you may already have everything you need to make it!
- Butter – use unsalted butter and if need to, you can use plant-based butter.
- Bacon – Make sure to dice cold bacon first, plus the bacon grease will add a lot of flavor to the soup. (If you feel like there is too much grease, you can drain it off.)
- Yellow onion
- Potatoes – Gold potatoes are my number one choice for this potato soup but you can also use Idaho potatoes.
- Vegetable stock – Use store bought or homemade stock, whichever you prefer. Chicken stock makes a great substitute as well.
- Salt and pepper – Always season to taste and taste your food as you go!
- Garlic powder
- Bay leaf – Once the soup is done, scoop this out and discard it before serving.
- Heavy cream – if you must, replace it with half and half or whole milk instead. (You can even use lactose free whole milk.)
- Sour cream – Since it’s such a small amount, Greek yogurt makes a great lower fat alternative without changing the flavor.
- Green onion
- Fresh dill weed – Easily swap this for dried dill but reduce the amount by a third.
- Cheddar cheese – Always buy a fresh block and grate your own, since pre-bagged shredded cheese contains additives and separators. Sharper cheddars will have a bolder flavor.
Step By Step Instructions
Cook the bacon and onions. Sauté bacon in butter first until the bacon is half way done and then add onions and cook until they are soft starting to caramelize.
Add the potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
Stir in the broth. There should be enough liquid to just cover the potatoes, though that may depend on how wide your pot is. Add the garlic as well and bring to a boil.
Simmer: Stir in the seasonings, add a bay leaf, and cover with a lid. Once the potatoes are mostly tender, remove the lid and continue cooking until soft.
Add remaining ingredients. Mix until well combined and cook the loaded potato soup for a few more minutes.
Serve: Once the cheese is completely melted, spoon into bowls and serve garnished with more cheese, bacon, and green onions!
Storing and Reheating
Transfer any leftovers to a food storage container with an air-tight lid and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
You can easily reheat individual portions of soup in the microwave, in increments of about 45 seconds. Stir it between each increment of time so it reheats evenly. It’s best to reheat in increments to prevent soup from being singed or separated.
If the texture is too thick, add a splash of vegetable stock or milk until it reaches the right consistency.
How to freeze loaded baked potato soup
Usually, soups with dairy products don’t freeze well so you can freeze the soup without adding heavy cream and sour cream. (Add heavy cream and sour cream when reheating.)
You can use one large container, large freezer bag, or divide it into smaller zip-top freezer bags for individual servings. Be sure to leave some room at the top to allow for expansion as the soup freezes.
Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat it over medium-low heat on stovetop and stir in heavy cream and sour cream.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Short on time? Peel, chop, and shred everything in advance and store in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator. (Note: potatoes will oxidize and turn brown on the outside if you peel them ahead of time. But, don’t worry, they are completely safe to eat. Just chop peeled potatoes and cook.) Don’t prep ingredients more than a day ahead or everything will start to wilt.
- Chop bacon cold. The meat is less likely to pull or tear when it’s cold from the refrigerator. Also, use a large, sharp chef’s knife rather than a utility knife.
- Want a smoother texture? Mash some of the potatoes in the pot before serving. Just don’t mash too much or overmix, since that can create a gluey texture from all the starch that’s released.
While loaded baked potato soup is more than enough on its own, you could easily pair a smaller bowl with a delicious sandwich or some roasted chicken.
Dress it up with all your favorite toppings too!
- Shredded cheese
- Bacon pieces
- Herbs: dill weed or parsley
- Sour cream
- Roasted corn kernels
Other Comforting Soup Recipes
If you’ve got leftover holiday ham, chop it up and toss it in a pot with some vegetables and stock to make Ham and Potato Soup. It’s finished with milk and white cheddar for a perfectly creamy texture.
Or, try my just-as-creamy Potato Leek Soup for a more sophisticated flavor.
Chicken Gnocchi Soup is another great comfort food option for cold winter nights. Make it completely from scratch or take a few shortcuts. Either way, it will turn out delicious!
If you made any of my recipes and shared them on Instagram, make sure to tag me @willcookforsmiles and #willcookforsmiles so I can see all the things you tried!
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Greatest Baked Potato Soup
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 lb raw bacon diced
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 lbs cubed golden potatoes
- 2 cups vegetable stock enough to cover the potatoes
- cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2-3 tbsp sour cream
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1 tsp fresh dill weed
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- Prepare the ingredients first. Dice cold bacon and onion into small pieces. (Note that bacon is easier to cut when it's cold.) Peel and dice potatoes and measure remaining ingredients.You can dice and prepare green onion and dill when ready to add to the soup.
- Preheat a Dutch oven over medium heat and melt butter in it.
- Add diced bacon and cook it until about half way cooked. Add yellow onion and sauté until onion and bacon are fully cooked.
- Add pressed garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the cubed potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock (enough to just cover the potatoes) and stir well. Bring the soup to simmer on medium-high heat and then reduce heat to medium-low.
- Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and add bay leaf. Cover and cook until the potatoes are mostly tender. Take the lid off and cook until potatoes are completely tender. Make sure to stir often.
- Stir in dill weed, green onion, sour cream, cheese, and heavy cream. Mix well and cook for a few more minutes and serve!
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on May 27, 2011. Updated December 23, 2020.