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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • Author: America's Test Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 7 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours 10 mins
  • Total Time: 6 hours 17 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Soups

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Ingredients

  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 pounds (about 6 medium) russet potatoes, peeled
  • 12 cups cheddar cheese, shredded, 4-8 oz., plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt, pepper
  • chives, for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Cut the bacon into small pieces, lardons. Cook over medium heat until golden and crisp.
  2. Set aside on a paper towel to drain and then store in a small container. You will use it later to garnish the soup. Drain all but 1 -2 Tablespoons of bacon grease.
  3. Add the onion, garlic and thyme, season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook over medium heat until soft and slightly golden.
  4. Add the flour and cook for about 1 min.
  5. Add about 1 cup of broth and whisk to combine until the liquid is thickened. If you’re using a nonstick skillet, use a wooden spoon or a plastic whisk. You can use a regular whisk on a stainless steel or cast iron skillet.
  6. Add the remaining broth (or as much as will fit in your skillet) and bring to a boil. Pour it all into the slow cooker.
  7. Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Add the potatoes to the thickened broth into the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours on low.
  8. Remove 2 cups of cooked potatoes and some of the liquid and mash with a potato masher. Add to the soup along with the cream and the shredded cheese.
  9. Discard the thyme sprigs.
  10. Heat up the reserved bacon in the microwave or in a skillet until warm.
  11. Garnish soup with bacon, minced chives, shredded cheese and sour cream, optional.