Loaded Potato Soup

$6.16 recipe / $1.02 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.92 from 25 votes
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Loaded baked potatoes are amazing, but you can’t cozy up and warm your hands on it like you can with a big bowl of soup! So let’s turn that baked potato and all of its delicious toppings into a thick and creamy, warm and cozy, delicious and filling bowl of Potato Soup to get us through the last couple of months of winter. This potato soup recipe has all the usual fixins like bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onion all piled into a thick and velvety potato soup base. Soooo cozy!

a bowl of loaded potato soup topped with bacon, cheese, and green onion.

Ingredients for Potato Soup

The ingredients for potato soup are very similar to a loaded baked potato or mashed potatoes, but the ingredients are mixed until they form a rich and creamy soup. Here’s what you’ll need to make this decadent potato soup:

  • Bacon: Bacon gives the potato soup a deliciously smoky flavor, a rich mouthfeel, and a little bit of extra salt to help the other flavors pop.
  • Onion & Garlic: Every great soup starts with onion and garlic for a deep savory base.
  • Butter & Flour: Butter and flour combine to create a “roux” which thickens the soup and gives it that rich, silky texture.
  • Chicken Broth & Milk: A combination of milk and broth ensures that the soup is creamy AND full of deep flavor.
  • Potatoes: The star of the show, potatoes give the soup body while keeping the price low.
  • Seasoning: We use a simple mix of smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper to season the soup.
  • Sour Cream: To add even MORE rich creaminess to the soup, we add sour cream which also helps thicken the soup just a little bit more.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Cheese gives the soup just a little bit more of a flavor punch.
  • Green Onions: A much-needed pop of fresh flavor adds an incredible top note to every bowl.

What Kind of Potatoes Are Best for Potato Soup?

I chose to use russet potatoes for this potato soup recipe for a few reasons. They mash easily and are a bit starchier than other potato varieties, which helps make a nice thick soup. Yukon Gold, which are slightly starchy and slightly waxy and hold their shape better, so they are a good option if you like your soup to be more on the chunky-soupy side rather than thick and velvety.

Looking for a Sweet Potato Soup? Check out my Creamy Sweet Potato Soup.

What Else Can I Add to Potato Soup?

I love recipes that allow for fun add-ins or toppings, and this loaded potato soup recipe is definitely one of them! Here are a few other ingredients that you can add, if you have them on hand:

A ladle of potato soup being lifted from the pot.
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Loaded Potato Soup

4.92 from 25 votes
Loaded Potato Soup is like your favorite baked potato with all the fixins, like bacon, sour cream, green onion, and cheese, but in a bowl!
overhead view of a bowl of loaded potato soup with toppings.
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. bacon ($1.37)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced ($0.32)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced ($0.32)
  • 3 Tbsp butter ($0.33)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour ($0.03)
  • 2 cups chicken broth ($0.26)
  • 2 cups whole milk ($0.40)
  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled & diced ($1.20)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream ($0.37)
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded ($1.15)
  • 3 green onions, sliced ($0.30)

Instructions 

  • Add the bacon to a large soup pot and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a clean bowl or plate, leaving the bacon grease in the pot.
  • While the bacon is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to the pot after the bacon has been removed and cook over medium heat in the bacon grease until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the butter and flour to the pot and continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about two minutes to form a roux.
  • Add the chicken broth and milk to the pot and whisk to dissolve all of the flour and butter.
  • Add the diced potatoes to the pot, cover, and turn the heat up to medium-high to bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the potatoes simmer for 15 minutes, or until they are very tender (easily pierced with a fork).
  • Use a potato masher or immersion blender to mash the potatoes until the soup is to your desired thickness.
  • Season the soup with smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Once seasoned, stir in the sour cream.
  • Serve the soup hot and top each bowl with the crumbled bacon, sliced green onions, and cheddar cheese.

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Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 538kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 12gFat: 38gSodium: 736mgFiber: 3g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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A spoon stirring a bowl of loaded potato soup.

How to Make Potato Soup

browned bacon in the bottom of a soup pot

This potato soup recipe starts with BACON! Cook ¼ lb. of bacon in a soup pot over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl or plate and leave the bacon grease in the pot.

Diced onion and minced garlic added to the pot with bacon grease.

While the bacon is cooking, dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic. Add them to the pot after removing the bacon and continue to sauté over medium heat in the bacon grease until the onions are soft and translucent.

Flour and butter added to the soup pot.

Next, add 3 Tbsp butter and 3 Tbsp flour to the onions and garlic. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat for about two minutes. The butter and flour will form a roux that helps thicken the soup.

Diced Potatoes on a cutting board

While the onions are sautéing, peel and dice 2 lbs. russet potatoes into ½-inch cubes. The smaller the cubes, the faster they’ll cook.

broth in the soup pot, milk being poured in.

Add 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups whole milk to the pot. Whisk to dissolve all the flour and butter, then add the diced potatoes.

Simmered potato soup in the pot.

Simmer the potatoes in the soup for about 15 minutes, or until they are VERY soft. The total time needed will depend on the size of your potato cubes, but you need to let them simmer until they’re easily pierced with a fork so that they’ll be easily mashable.

Potato masher in the pot of soup.

Use a potato masher or immersion blender to partially mash the potatoes or until the soup is to your desired thickness (some like it chunky, some like it smooth!).

Seasonings added to the soup.

Then it’s time to add some more seasoning. I added ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

sour cream added to the soup.

And lastly, to make the soup extra creamy and extra baked-potato-like, stir in ½ cup sour cream.

A pot of potato soup with toppings added.

Slice three green onions and shred about 4oz. of cheddar cheese. Add the green onion, cheese, and crispy bacon to each bowl (or to the pot if you want to make a nice presentation for the dinner table).

close up of a ladle full of loaded potato soup.

Delish!

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Comments

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  1. Great recipe! I would love to know where you shop to get those good prices on ingredients. Or possibly these are before the big grocery inflation happened?

    1. We do a lot of our shopping/pricing at Aldi and Kroger and these grocery prices were at the time of posting almost 2 years ago. The recipe prices are for the specific amount of that ingredient used, so for example, the price is for 4oz bacon, rather than the whole package of bacon, so $1.37. A package of bacon at Aldi at the moment is $4.69 for a 16oz package, so 4oz would actually be $1.17! :)

  2. We love this recipe! Our younger children don’t exactly love the kick from the cayenne, but they still eat it up. It does thicken as leftovers, but that’s easy to thin out with milk or water when reheating. We haven’t done bacon b/c of being short on time, and it still is flavorful.

  3. Where is the cream cheese that the narrative stated were used in combination with the sour cream to make it extra creamy? The cream cheese never showed up in the recipe instructions or the ingredient list.

    1. Oops, that was a typo. I added that section of the blog post recently and was mixing this potato soup up with a different one. This one does not contain cream cheese. :)

  4. Great recipe, but my potatoes did NOT cook in 15 minutes. It took closer to 45 minutes and that was with the potatoes diced into bite size chunks. I tried it with russet and yellow potatoes and ran into the same issue. Still good but may just need to account for extra cooking time.

  5. Okay, I think I am the exception to the rule. I used yukon gold potatoes because it’s what I had on hand. I also used condensed milk. Otherwise, I followed the recipe to the letter. I ended up with a pot of wallpaper paste. Kind of sad.

    1. Condensed milk is a thick syrup and sweet. That does sound like a recipe for disaster.

    1. While we haven’t tested freezing this soup, I would guess that it is not a good candidate for freezing because it has so much dairy, and a flour-thickened broth. Both of those elements tend to separate upon freezing and thawing.

  6. I am teaching a young teenager to cook and follow directions EXACTLY. We noticed your directions left out the step of adding bacon, onions, and garlic back into the soup pot. I told her this was a good learning recipe to test how far she had come reguarding her culinary skills. Also, fir the garlic and spices, they need to say something like, “Optional, amounts are left to your liking.” This young lady doesn’t like the taste of onions so we used onion powder and less than a substitution chart would suggest. We also add diced ham to our soup. We just freeze the small chuncks of ham from a shank then use it here, green beans, eggs, pizza. Just an idea other than ham Salad. Thanks for posting this recipe and please do not let my comments stop anyone from making this delicious recipe. Last thought, I used just 1 cup of 2% milk, and had 1 cup of slightly outdated heavy whipping cream so I used that too. This gives a slightly sour cream taste.

    1. What do you mean “back into the soup pot”? You’re never supposed to take the onions and garlic out. They cook down into the roux. The bacon that you cooked in the first step is topped on the soup at the end.

  7. Made this for my family and it was a hit all around. I didn’t have sour cream but nobody noticed. It was really creamy and delicious anyway. Will definitely make it again!

    1. I made this. It’s good. I just found that my butter and flour burn in the bacon greese. So I ended up started over making the roux with butter, flower and a little chicken broth. I guess I should have turned the heat down after adding the butter. Can’t decide if I want to add sour cream or cream cheese. But it’s good without either one.

  8. Love how delicious this soup is. I made a big pot over the weekend while friends were visiting. Big hit!

  9. THIS WAS SO GOOD! My husband absolutely loved it. Made enough for 4 hearty bowls. My potatoes took about 18 minutes to get soft. Just so delicious!

  10. Absolutely fabulous. I like a potato soup that has aspirations of being mashed potatoes in texture. I added a potato or two extra and this was perfect.

  11. My first time making potato soup and it’s AMAZING! Will definitely make again.

  12. If I wanted to add some broccoli, what would be the best place to do so? Cooked and at the end?

    1. I’d add it uncooked with the raw potatoes or just after. It will only take 6-8 minutes to cook through. If frozen, I would thaw the broccoli slightly in a colander, salt it (to season it as well as draw out some extra moisture), and then add it directly to the pot. Frozen broccoli will also cook a bit faster than fresh, ~4-6 minutes. ~Marion :)

  13. I wish it was possible to give more than four stars!! This is the best potato soup I’ve had and it’s so easy and it’s been a hit with everyone I’ve made it for.