Oh man, do I have the potato soup recipe for you. It started with my mom’s, fantastic and flavorful and brothy. Add in a few additions from Audrey’s version, still brothy but also cheesy goodness, and then bring the Panera Bread Knock-Off recipe to the table (much thicker, richer, and not-good-for-you-er).
Mix them all together, and you get this Baked Potato Soup: flavorful, thick, cheesy, chunky, filling, THE BEST POTATO SOUP EVER. Ever. The end. Make it, trust me – you’ll be addicted, too.
Baked Potato Soup
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4-6 c. peeled, cubed potatoes (reds or Yukon Golds are perfect)
6-8 c. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. Velveeta
3-4 c. potatoes, cubed (you can keep the skin on these if you’d like)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced green onions
More bacon, my friends, oooooooh yeah (this time pre-fried and crumbled)
Saute bacon in the bottom of a dutch oven or large stock pot, over medium heat. Once nicely browned, use a slotted spoon to remove and drain on paper towels – leave the bacon drippings in the pot. Toss in the onions, carrots, and celery, and saute until softened and starting to brown.
Add broth, seasonings, and potatoes, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are nicely softened. Now: take an immersion blender, and blend it all up nice and smooth. It will be thick and lovely and perfect – this is your soup base, my friends.
Now – add the additional potatoes, the Velveeta (chunked), the cream cheese (also chunked), and the bacon. Let simmer, stirring somewhat frequently (gotta get those cheeses nice and melted into the soup), for about 20 minutes. The 2nd batch of potatoes should be perfectly cooked, and the cheeses melted.
Serve immediately, topped with cheddar cheese, green onions, and bacon.