Nat’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Craving Loaded Baked Potato Soup but not all of the calories? This recipe is naturally wheat free, and can easily be made to be vegetarian and even vegan! There is no need for a roux with bleached flour because the natural starches in potatoes help thicken the stock, and blending cooked potatoes helps create a thick and creamy base.

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 8 potatoes (I used 4 Russet, and 4 Yukon Gold for extra flavor and creaminess)
  • 1 QT vegetable stock (Boxed or homemade)
  • ½ yellow onion, medium diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups low-fat milk (or milk substitute, such as cashew milk)
  • ¾ cup sour cream (or non-dairy substitute)
  • 2 tsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce – can also use gluten free worcestershire)
  • 2 green onion stalks or chives, chopped for garnish
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked crispy and crumbled for garnish, with reserved bacon rendering/fat (omit if vegetarian or vegan)
  • 1 cup shredded colby cheese (or vegan substitute – I prefer Miyoko brand)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter (or vegan substitute – use only if not adding bacon and renderings)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (or other high heat oil, like avocado or grapeseed)

Equipment:

  • Stock Pot
  • Non-stick skillet
  • Stirring Spoon
  • Slotted Spoon (Spider)
  • Immersion Blender or Food Processor
  • Chef Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Ladle
  • Bowls for Garnishes
  • Cheese Grater (if cheese is not already shredded)

Instructions:
1) Mise en Place – Wash potatoes, leaving skin on. Cut into cubes. Chop Celery and dice onion. Mince garlic, and set aside.

2) *Omit this step if vegetarian or vegan – In large skillet, cook bacon strips until crispy. Remove from heat, drain on paper towels, and set aside to cool. Keep skillet on low heat.

3) Set stock pot over medium heat. Add HALF of bacon renderings and high heat oil (or butter, or vegan substitute combined with oil). Add diced potatoes, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cook potatoes for 5 minutes, tossing frequently so not sticking to the bottom of pot.

4) Add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer to cook potatoes. Allow to cook until you can pierce potato easily with a fork.

5) Add chopped celery and onions to remaining bacon renderings and other half of oil, cooking until aromatic. Add in minced garlic, cooking until a nice golden brown. Remove from heat.

6) Using a slotted spoon (or spider), remove ¼ of cooked potatoes (around 1 ½ to 2 cups) and set aside.

7) Heat up low-fat milk (or milk substitute) in microwave. If no microwave heat over burner in small pot (adding cold milk may cause curdling).

8) Blend together remaining potatoes and stock using an immersion blender, or food processor**, slowly adding heated milk/substitute as you blend until a creamy base has formed. Add in sour cream (or sub) and continue blending until base is thick (it should easily cover the back of a spoon).

9) Add back cooked potatoes, as well as garlic, celery and onion. Stir in paprika, tamari, and salt and pepper to desired taste. Let simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes for flavors to marry, stirring occasionally.

10) Prepare garnishes in small bowls or ramequins. Crumbled Bacon, Shredded Cheese and chopped Green Onion/Chives. Feel free to get creative!

11) Serve in Medium Bowls, Garnish as desired. Makes enough for a family of 4 to have at least 2 bowls each. Enjoy!

** If using a food processor, depending on size, you may need to blend in batches. Us a spoon to carefully add hot potatoes and stock into food processor, careful not to overflow. Mix to desired thickness. Return to stock pot afterwards and continue to the next step.

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