When Lucy was a wee newborn lass and consumed nearly all of our time and energy, Dave and I became masters at the 5 minute dinner. When it wasn’t easy staples like pasta with garlic bread or grilled cheese with tomato soup, it was baked potatoes. A simple baked (or shamefully, sometimes microwaved) russet layered with grated cheddar cheese, steamed broccoli, sour cream and crispy bits of bacon took almost no time and satisfied our starving bellies. And unlike the Chinese takeout which became our go-to meal all too often (and left us hungry two hours later), this quick dinner left us satisfied until the 2 am feeding.
Even though we now have the luxury of longer cooking times and enjoying a meal without a crying baby in our arms (for a few more months, anyway), I still turn to baked potatoes from time to time for a comforting dinner.
I’d seen a few recipes for loaded baked potato soup floating around the web-o-sphere and was inspired. Not only can you mimic the comforting flavors of a baked potato in a bowl, but this soup is just as easy. One batch makes several dinners for two and could also be frozen for a later date.
I’m not calling my version “loaded,” partially because I think it that sounds like some sort of pot-head soup (“loaded” and “baked”? It’s just too easy). But it contains all of the ingredients and toppings that would constitute a “loaded baked potato” in any steakhouse: broccoli, bacon, scallions, cheese, and sour cream. Whether you’re a sleep-deprived parent or a snack-deprived pot-head, this soup will surely satisfy.
Baked Potato Soup
Bake the potatoes and let them cool ahead of time. You may substitute chives for scallions. Yields 8 bowls of soup.
- 12 strips bacon, diced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 c chicken stock
- 4 c milk
- 1 bunch scallions (8 stems), light green parts diced and the rest discarded
- 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 russet potatoes, baked and cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 10 oz can cream of cheddar or cheddar cheese soup
- 1 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
- sour cream, for topping
Cook the bacon in a heavy pot or dutch oven in two batches over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pan. Stir in the flour until just moistened by the bacon grease, then quickly whisk in the chicken stock and milk. Stir until smooth and any lumps of flour have dissolved. Stir in the scallions, broccoli pieces, potatoes, salt and cheddar soup. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender, about 12-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream and bacon pieces.