Its December. Its cold. And that just begs for SOUP! Theres just nothing else in the world that warms the bones and screams COMFORT more than a hot, steaming bowl of soup! So today, were going to make some Loaded Potato Soup. This soup is not your normal potato soup! Were going to add all kinds of extra flavors to it! And when were done, your little pea-pickin heart is going to be singing!
Lets make some Loaded Potato Soup! Did I mention its LOADED? Cuz it is! Heres what youll need:
Russet potatoes, onions, green onions, garlic, heavy whipping cream, fresh peppercorns for grinding, sour cream, ham pieces (the seasoning pieces that will often say Beans and Greens Seasoning,) bacon bits (or you can cook your own bacon and chop it up) and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Peel the potatoes.
Now with that said, youre certainly welcome to use any potato you want for this, but I prefer russets for this. If you prefer red potatoes, use those. And in all honesty, if youre in a tight pinch and have absolutely NO time to stand and peel potatoes, a couple bags of frozen cubed hashbrowns will work wonderfully! I prefer to make it with potatoes I peeled myself, but if youre craving potato soup and have no time to stand and peel 5-10 pounds of potatoes, those little bags of hashbrowns just cant be beat!
If you are peeling potatoes and not using the hashbrowns for a quickie potato soup, cut the potatoes into chunks like you would for mashed potatoes. Cut them fairly large so you will have some texture to the soup. If you cut them really small, it will be a much smoother soup. Either way will work, but we prefer a potato soup with a little more chunk to it.
Put the potatoes in a large stock pot and cover them with water. Add just enough water to barely cover them. You dont want to drown them. Youll be pouring off most of the cooking liquid when they potatoes are tender.
Add some fresh-cracked pepper to the potatoes.
And add LOTS of garlic!
Now while the potatoes are cooking, lets get the Loaded part ready. Open the ham seasoning pieces and lay them out on a cutting board.
Using a sharp knife, cut the ham into small pieces. Youll need a super-sharp knife for this because a dull one just will not get the job done!
Now dice up your onion. I like LOTS of onion for this. Use as much or as little as you like. Take the outside off the onion then cut it in half root to tip. Lay it cut-side down like in the photo and then cut it into several thick slices.
Turn the onion sideways and cut across the thick slices you made to cut the onion into small chunks. If you like it diced fine, by all means, cut it into smaller pieces. Again, I like the layers of texture in this soup with the large chunks of potato and the large dices of onion. But do what you and your family like!
The onions are ready to go in the hot tub!
Get your pan or skillet super hot! See this fantastic pan? I HIGHLY recommend this pan! Its a Calphalon sauteuse pan. Tall Skinny Man got me not one, but TWO, for Christmas!!!!! I LOVE THIS PAN! OK, back to your regularly scheduled program.
OK, see that spoonful of loveliness? That would be bacon grease! Theres nothing quite as good as some pig cooked in pig! But if you dont happen to have any bacon grease on hand, olive oil, vegetable oil, canola, butter, whatever fat you have on hand will work fine. This is NOT health food! This is comfort food! And pig is mighty comforting at my house!
Let the bacon grease melt and get super hot. Or let your oil and/or butter get super hot. Just remember if you use butter, you will need to also use some oil also because the butter cant take the high temperature without turning brown.
Now add the onions and ham to the hot pan. The smell will instantly make you sing! Its fantastic!!!!
Keep an eye on it. You want to keep moving it around the pan until the ham and onions are caramelized. It will take a few minutes, so be patient! Trust me! Its well worth it in the end!
Theyre starting to sizzle now!
See how the pan looks when you move the ham and onions aside? Those beautiful little brown bits on the bottom? Thats when you know the natural sugars in the onion are cooking out and youre about there!
Youre THERE! Theyre ready! Just turn the heat off and let them sit there until youre ready for them.
In the meantime, drain the majority of the water off the potatoes.
Now add the potatoes back to the pot.
Pour in the heavy whipping cream. Dont be shy! Remember, it aint health food! Your weary soul needs some comfort and this is just the thing for that!
Give it a good stir until all the cream is combined with the potatoes.
Now add the sour cream.
Stir it in until its well-combined. You dont want to see any of the white lumps from the sour cream.
Now add the ham and onions.
Oh my gravy! This soup is HAPPY now! Its VERY happy! And youre just about to be very happy too! Because it is
Now slice the green onions! Youll be adding those to the top of the soup. YUM!!!!!!!!!
I like to use both the onion part and the green too. If you prefer one or the other, just use the part you like.
Now serve it up in a bowl and add some of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a sprinkle of bacon and some of the green onions. Oh my goodness!
Park this fantastic soup beside your favorite sandwich and youll be in comfort food heaven! I cant even tell you how delightfully comforting this soup is!
Loaded Potato Soup
* 5 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cubed
* 16 oz. sour cream
* 1 quart heavy whipping cream
* fresh cracked pepper, to taste
* minced garlic, to taste
* 2-3 onions, diced
* 1 pkg. ham seasoning pieces
* 1 bunch green onions, sliced on the bias
* 1 pkg. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
* 1 pkg. bacon bits or 1 pkg. bacon, fried and crumbled
Peel and dice potatoes. In a large stockpot, cover potatoes with water. Add fresh cracked pepper and garlic to taste. Do not salt! The ham, bacon and cheese will add salt to the soup later. Boil until potatoes are tender. While potatoes are boiling, cut up onion and ham. Fry in bacon grease or oil/fat of choice until onion and ham are caramelized. Drain most of the water off the potatoes. Return potatoes to the stockpot and pour in the heavy whipping cream. Stir. Add the sour cream and stir until well-combined. Add the ham and onions to the soup. Stir them in. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, bacon and green onions.
And friends, that is Loaded Potato Soup! The ultimate in comfort food! I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do!
Stay tuned because Ill be sharing the sandwich you see beside this soup. Its a Cheddar Apple Bacon Panini! My family LOVES paninis! So be on the lookout for that recipe to show up here soon!
Have a fantastic day!