Baked Potato Soup

Heather says
Ever since I worked at Bennigans I have adored potato soup. I am fairly certain if it weren’t for snitched rolls and ramekins of baked potato soup I would have wasted away in my late teens. I was sad to see the company recently declare bankruptcy, but take heart the potato soup lives on. This recipe rates just a shade above novice on the difficulty scale. Which, according to my rating system, if you can handle two basic tasks simultaneously and not wander away and get sucked into another activity, you’ve got it in the bag.

Before we get started let’s talk liquids. Most potato soup recipes call for milk and sour cream, some call for milk and half and half, other call for milk, sour cream, and chicken broth. Substituting chicken broth (or stock) for some, but not all, never all, of the milk lowers the fat content while providing good flavor. I prefer a small dollop of sour cream as a topping rather than stirring a cup full (in place of the half and half in the version below) at the end of cooking, but feel free to experiment.

This is a great use for all those odd size potatoes that seem to show up in the large bags. I scrub just enough to fill up a small baking tray, prick each with a fork, and bake for one hour at 400F. When they are done I place on a baking rack to cool and begin making the soup. While the milk is heating I peel and mash the potatoes by hand. The peels should slip off quite easily.

Lastly, for those just venturing into the world of cream soups, follow the directions closely the first time, then feel free to experiment. I tend to have a light touch with salt, preferring to allow othes to salt to taste at the table. Be careful with the amount of salt if you choose to substitute chicken broth for some of the milk as sodium levels naturally run high in most commercially prepared broths and boullions. 

 

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 celery ribs + leaves chopped (don’t stress if your ribs are naked or omit completely if you hate celery)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 5 cups milk (feel free to substitute up to half chicken broth)
  • approximately 7lbs baked potatoes peeled and mashed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 oz cheddar (or monterey jack) grated or cut into small cubes (grate additional cheese for garnish)
  • 4 – 6 slices bacon roughly chopped (save a little for garnish)
  • 1 cup half and half (or sour cream)

Heat the butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. When it has melted add the onions, stir frequently and reduce the heat to medium low.

Cook two to three minutes after adding celery and garlic

When the onions are soft add the celery and garlic and saute for an additional two to three minutes.

Sprinkle in the flour a little at a time

 

Sprinkle in approximately half of the flour and stir well with a whisk.

Using a whisk helps prevent any clumps of flour.

At first, add the milk in small splashes, stirring well.

Now comes the slighty tricky part. While whisking constantly, begin alternating between a splash of milk and sprinkle of flour. You’ll create a thick paste known as a roux. If you are patient there should be no lumps. Once the flour has all been added you can begin adding the milk or chicken broth in more generous splashes. Once all the milk has been incorporated (mixed in well) bring to a simmer stirring occasionally. 

This is when I peel and mash the potatoes, as it can be a little boring.

Once the soup is simmering, reduce the heat to low and stir in the potatoes, cheese, crumbled bacon, salt, and pepper. Allow to heat through, then stir in the half and half or sour cream, stir, and serve immediately.

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Comments

  1. Oh, that looks so yummy!

  2. Mmm…This sounds delicious…

    I’ve never actually had this soup from Bennigan’s, but will look for it if I ever wander in…

    Thanks for this great soup recipe!

    Kimberly :)

  3. mom, again says:

    I make potato soup with any leftover cooked potato. If I’m boiling potatoes for one meal, I boil lots more than I need that night so I can make soup in a day or so.

  4. Oh, yum! That looks so good!

  5. Hello,

    I make a potato soup very similar to this. It is one of my favorites. Very few things say “warm and fuzzy comort food” like hot potato soup topped with all kinds of goodies.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe — I bet the garlic makes it really good.

    Take Care,

    Trixie
    http://farmhomelife.blogspot.com/

  6. I’m gonna have to make this! Thanks for sharing!

  7. i just boil mine until they are done, but still firm and then drain off the water add milk, butter, salt and pepper. This probably tastes better, but mine is faster. And probably lower cal.

    Such a good meal on a cold night. I hear they are coming again so I may make some for dinner. The kids love mashed potatoes, so I can make them and my soup at the same time.

  8. Ray Horner says:

    Nice blog! Enjoyed the soup – very tasty and a good version of old Bennigans’ . Instead of a wisk when making roux I use a large semi-flexible plastic fork to wisk the flour. No clumps in the wisk!

  9. Lisa- Domestic Accident says:

    It’s supposed to rain here this weekend. Perfect weather for this soup.

  10. Cookware Lady - Susan says:

    The baked potato soup look so delicious! Lovely blog you got here, got to try this recipe out, my mother love soup but sometime I’m out of idea of what soup to cook.

  11. This was very good. I had a few more potatoes than what was called for so I upped the milk to 7 1/2 cups and adjusted the rest. It was a little thick with my adjustments but I just added a bit of left over chicken broth. Turned out wonderful. Its one of my husbands favorite soups but one I had yet to try to make myself. This recipe is a keeper for sure :)

  12. Guess this takes on a new level of importance now that Bennigan’s went bankrupt ? They are reopening, but with a new menu that features “pub fare”. Not sure if the potato soup made the cut or not, so glad to see a good recipe here.
    ==
    Money Saving Tips!

  13. This looks great! I love Bennigan’s Baked Potato Soup, but the one here is not very good- they were even out of the soup one time! This is my first time here, but I will definitely be back. Thanks for sharing!

  14. looks pefect! im not good at cook,but i will try.hope my family will like it .thank you!

  15. I should note that this is not the official Bennigan’s recipe. However after eating theirs frequently over the course of a year, I would say it is quite similar.

  16. Oh, that sounds yummy. I LOVE LOVE LOVE potato soup so much.

    Thanks for linking up!

  17. I can’t wait to try this!

  18. I made this for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! Normally I would omit the celery because I’m not a fan but I had it on hand because I’m making dressing, so I went ahead and added it. It was frowned upon by certain members of the family but they ate “around” it!

    It’s a great recipe and I’ll be making it again!

  19. yumm! Sounds great! Would it be okay to use skim, or 1% milk for this to cut some fat?
    Thanks!

  20. Soup Recipes lover says:

    your soup looks delicious! i didn’t realize how heavy the baked potato soup is until i saw the ingredients in the soup so it will be a treat for me here and there. thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

  21. anjolcake says:

    I can’t wait to try this! My lil’ darlins will love it.

  22. At what point do you add the bacon? It's on the ingredient list but not in directions.

  23. The bacon's probably a garnish. You would add it on top right before eating so it stays crunchy.

  24. Samantha manning says:

    When do you add the bacon? I see you use some as a garnish as the directions say to hold some out for garnish, but is there some added to the soup while cooking?

  25. Can the leftovers be frozen or will the soup separate and be ooky?

    • HeatherSolos says:

      It may separate, but if you whisk it back together during a gentle reheating, it should be ok.

  26. Just made this Heather, it rocked my socks off. A very excellent soup. There is no point in paying astronomical prices for premade baked potato soup when it is so easy and inexpensive to make, and turns out so well.

  27. Heather, have you ever made this using leftover mashed potatoes? Seems like it should work.

    • HeatherSolos says:

      @Bobbie Laughman I think it would work perfectly, but no I haven’t tried it, I haven’t had any leftover mashed potatoes. Sigh.