Perfect Loaded Potato Soup

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READY IN: 1hr 20mins
SERVES: 10
YIELD: 5 quarts
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
  • 6
    cups vegetable stock (home made is best, but any will work)
  • 8
    slices bacon (chopped to 1 inch pieces)
  • 3
    tablespoons butter
  • 1
    large yellow onion (chopped to 1/2 inch dice)
  • 3
    celery ribs (chopped to 1/2 inch dice)
  • 3
    carrots (chopped to 1/2 inch dice)
  • 1
    leek (sliced, white and light green parts only, use the dark green leaves in the stock!)
  • 1
    teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 12
    teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
  • 1
    teaspoon dry mustard
  • 12
    teaspoon paprika
  • 12
    teaspoon dried thyme
  • 14
    cup flour
  • 2
    cups milk
  • 6
    large potatoes (peeled, chopped to 1/2 inch dice)
  • 12
    cup sour cream (optional, garnish)
  • 14
    cup fresh chives, chopped (optional, garnish)
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DIRECTIONS

  • In large soup pot, fry bacon to crisp. Set aside bacon. Reserve grease in the pot (about 1 tablespoon; discard excess).
  • Add butter to the bacon grease.
  • Cook the onion, celery, carrot, and leek in the butter/grease mixture until fairly tender.
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, dried mustard, and thyme. Add to the tender vegetables/butter/grease mixture in the pot. Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add milk. Stir constantly until thickened (about 5 minutes).
  • Add potatoes and stock. Add enough stock so that it covers the vegetables and has some extra liquid.
  • Simmer gently until the vegetables are all tender. Stir frequently to avoid the milk/etc from sticking.
  • When vegetables are tender, remove about a third to half of the soup (or however much you like it, depending on how smooth you like your soup) and blend until smooth. Return to pot. Stir.
  • Remove from heat. Add cheese. Stir to melt.
  • Adjust salt & seasonings.
  • Serve. Garnish each bowl with bacon and a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives.
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