Your favorite steakhouse side turned into a rich and creamy soup topped with bacon, sour cream, chives and cheddar cheese.
Loaded baked potatoes are one of my favorite steakhouse sides. I went through a phase in college where I considered a baked potato the perfect dorm microwave dinner so I didn’t have to walk to the cafeteria. This rich and velvety potato based soup is topped with sour cream, bacon, cheddar cheese & chives. The addition of leeks complement the potatoes adding a more complex flavor to the soup.
Rather than adding cream to thicken the soup later on the potatoes are cooked in a combination of chicken stock and milk until tender then pureed with an immersion blender.
It’s important to cook the potatoes long enough so that they can easily be pierced with a fork and will puree smoothly. Vegetable stock can be substituted and bacon omitted (use 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to sauté the onions and leeks instead) for a vegetarian option.
What kind of potatoes should I use?
I use russet potatoes in this recipe because they are starchy and blend into the soup well. They fall apart easily and soak up liquid, unlike waxier potatoes which are good for soups like New England clam chowder where they are cubed.
½cupsour cream,plus additional as needed for serving
1cupshredded sharp cheddar cheese
Add the bacon to a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, reserving as much fat in the pan as possible.
Add the butter and allow to melt then add the onion and leeks. Sauté, cooking until the onion is soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, milk, chicken broth and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth or let the soup cool slightly then puree in a blender, working in batches if necessary.
Return the soup to the pot then stir in the sour cream and ½ cup of the cheese until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with sour cream, bacon, remaining cheese and chives.
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