Loaded potato soup is the ultimate cozy dinner idea, and this one is so easy to make! It’s all that’s great about a baked potato, remade as a healthy soup.
Ready for our new favorite cozy and healthy soup? Loaded potato soup. Who could pass that up? (I mean, really!) This one is impossibly creamy with intermittent potato chunks, using no heavy cream at all! Old Bay gives it an irresistible undertone. It’s so easy to make: you don’t even need a blender! And like any good recipe, the best part is the toppings. You can use whatever you like best: Alex and I chose old standards like shredded cheese, sour cream and chives, but added a new-to-us twist. Keep reading for all our secrets to what we think is the best loaded potato soup you’ll find.
How to make loaded potato soup: basic steps!
So! Most loaded potato soup recipes have loads of cream and butter. This one is ultra creamy using milk and a moderate amount of butter. It also has intermittent potato chunks, which makes the soup taste even heartier! We found we prefer this to a fully pureed texture. And that means you don’t even need a blender to make it! When Alex created this recipe, he hit on genius (in my opinion). Here are are the secrets to this tasty soup.
Got a pressure cooker? Go to Instant Pot Potato Soup.
Step 1: Saute minced shallot and garlic in butter, then add flour.
You’ll start with a large pot or Dutch oven. Melt the butter, then saute the shallots and garlic for a few minutes. Then you’ll add the flour: this makes a “roux” to thicken the soup. Cook the flour for about 2 to 3 minutes. Once the liquid is added, the flour will thicken it nicely. This trick is used often in creamy sauces and originated in French cooking. (For gluten-free, you can use 1 for 1 gluten-free flour.)
Step 2: Simmer potatoes with veggie broth, milk, and Old Bay.
Add the vegetable broth, milk, potatoes, salt and Old Bay. You’ll simmer for about 25 minutes, until the potatoes are so tender they fall apart when you mash them against the side of the pot. Important: make sure the mixture does not boil! Keep the heat on very low. Stir often and scrape the bottom to make sure nothing sticks. The soup will become very thick.
Step 3: Mash!
Remove the soup from the heat and mash it until the desired texture forms. The soup will be creamy but with small chunks of potatoes. Alex and I found that makes the most satisfying texture for a loaded potato soup, versus having it completely pureed. Stir to incorporate the mashed potatoes.
And now, you’re ready for the best part of a loaded baked potato soup: the toppings! Keep reading for all our favorites.
Toppings for loaded potato soup!
This loaded potato soup is the canvas for all of your favorite potato toppings! Here’s what we added to ours, some standard and some a little more unique:
- Shredded cheese: Use sharp cheddar, Mexican blend, smoked Gouda, or even Parmesan
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt: Both are great; Greek yogurt adds a healthy spin and a tang
- Green onions or chives: Thinly sliced onion or chive is a must
- Bacon (real or vegan): Because we eat mostly plant based, Alex and I made a shiitake bacon for this recipe and it’s incredibly tasty! Other vegan bacon options: coconut bacon or crumbled tempeh bacon.
What other topping ideas you love? Let us know in the comments below! And, if you’re looking to make it into a meal? Go to Best Sides to Serve with Soup.
What’s Old Bay?
One of the best parts of this loaded baked potato soup (besides the toppings!) is the background hint of Old Bay. It provides the perfect flavoring. But what is it? Old Bay is an American seasoning blend that’s often used to season seafood, most notably in shrimp boils. It’s also used in chowders like this potato soup.
The main ingredients in Old Bay are paprika, celery salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. You can find Old Bay in your grocery store in the spices aisle, or buy Old Bay online. Or, you can make your own! Try our Old Bay seasoning.
Vegan bacon…optional but delicious!
Yep! This soup contains dairy in the milk and cheese, so it’s a vegetarian soup. (If you do want a vegan version of it, give us a shout out in the comments!) To keep it vegetarian and still have that signature salty, smoky flavor of bacon, Alex and I invented a new vegan bacon recipe. It’s mushroom bacon! This bacon is made out of shiitake mushrooms, and it brings just the right smoky topping to this soup.
If you’ve never tried a vegan bacon recipe (we’ll assume many of you haven’t), never fear! It’s not weird. It’s actually extremely satisfying and the perfect topping to keep this soup a healthy meatless dinner recipe.
This loaded potato soup recipe is…
Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free 1 for 1 flour. For vegan, go to Creamy Vegan Potato Soup.Print
Loaded potato soup is the ultimate cozy dinner idea, and this one is so easy to make! It’s all that’s great about a baked potato, remade as a healthy soup. Vegan variation: Go to Vegan Potato Soup.
- 2 large shallots
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 6 tablespoons all purpose flour (or 1-for-1 gluten free flour)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups 2% milk
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Topping ideas: Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, thinly sliced chives or green onions, bacon, shiitake bacon or coconut bacon, hot sauce
- Mince the shallots. Mince the garlic. Peel and dice the potatoes.
- In large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Shake the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until just starting to brown.
- Slowly stir in the vegetable broth, adding it bit by bit and then stirring. Once incorporated add the milk, potatoes, kosher salt, and Old Bay.
- Bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for 25 minutes (make sure the heat is just at a simmer and does not boil). Stir often and scrape the bottom to make sure nothing sticks. The soup will get extremely creamy (make sure to keep stirring or a skin will form on the top). It’s done when the potatoes fall apart when you mash one against the side of the pot with your spoon.
- Remove from the heat. Use potato masher to break up the potatoes so that a creamy but chunky texture forms. Stir to incorporate the mashed potatoes. Then serve topped with toppings of your choice! Leftovers store refrigerated for up to 5 days: reheat on the stovetop and add a splash of milk if necessary.
- Serve with toppings.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Loaded potato soup, Loaded baked potato soup
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.