Loaded Baked Potato Soup from America’s Test Kitchen’s Comfort Food Makeovers

Loaded Baked Potato Soup.psd

Probably one of the foods in the world I’m the most “meh” about is potatoes. It’s weird because it seems like everyone is absolutely obsessed with them. And here I am just not able to compute the appeal of them. They’re plain, boring, and starchy. One of the least exciting foods in the world, in my book. They don’t even have any color to them! I guess I just don’t understand the regular old white potato. That is, UNLESS it is acting as a vehicle for some other deliciousness like cheese, ketchup, or sour cream and bacon. The baked potato actually sounds somewhat appealing to me because of all the topping possibilities. But I like the idea of them in soup form even more because you are truly combining the creamy toppings with the potato and can’t just eat all the good stuff off the top (which I would totaly do). But, I mean, obviously a loaded baked potato soup is not really at the top of the healthy foods list. At all. Ever. Well, until now. OK, maybe it’s still not at the TOP of the healthy foods list, but it’s a whole lot better for you. And every bit as delicious as any baked potato I’ve ever had.

I got this recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Soup in the brand new America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, Comfort Food Makeovers, and it is a gem. ATK sent me the book (huge thanks!!) and it took me about a million hours to decide what I wanted to test out. This is definitely only the first of many because I still can’t get over how perfect it was. And also easy. As in, I made it after work. Which is saying a lot considering all I generally have the energy to do after work is sit on my butt and stare blankly at trashy reality television while eating candy. Lightened up Loaded Baked Potato Soup or candy? I think you know the answer to that one. Well, maybe Loaded Baked Potato Soup and THEN candy. Let’s be reasonable here.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (serves about 6):
Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s Comfort Food Makeovers
Print this recipe!

  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled (reserve peels from two potatoes and chop coarsely) and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T all-purpose flour
  • 4 C low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 t mustard powder
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 C half-and-half
  • 1 C 0 percent Greek yogurt
  • 2 oz. 50% light cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 C)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Ingredients.jpg

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, move bacon to paper towel-lined plate. When it cools a bit, crumble it. Now, add chopped potato skins to pot and cook until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate with the bacon.

Add the chopped onion to the pot and cook over medium heat until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Onions.jpg

Stir in the flour and cook for another minute, before whisking in the broth and making sure to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot, until smooth. Stir in the potatoes, mustard powder, and thyme and bring the mixture to a simmer. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and continue cooking until the potatoes are nice and tender. This will likely take about 7-8 minutes.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Simmer.jpg

Remove the sprig of thyme and put half the soup into a blender and blend until nice and smooth.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Blender.jpg

Return blended soup to pot and whisk in half-and-half.

Put yogurt in a separate, small bowl and then stir in 1/2 C of the hot soup (this will temper it) before whisking mixture into the pot of soup.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Yogurt.jpg

Stir in the cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Creamy.jpg

Serve in bowls, topped with bacon, potato skins, and scallions.

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See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? And besides a sprinkling of cheese and some half-and-half, there wasn’t a whole lot of bad about this soup.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup 2.jpg

Best part? One bowl only has 270 calories and 13 grams of fat. This is down from a whopping 560 calories and 40 grams of fat in the typical Loaded Baked Potato Soup. And maybe it’s just me, but a bowl of soup? Should not be that bad for you.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup 7.jpg

Actually, no, that’s not the best part. The best part is that it tastes so freaking good and you would never believe most of the naughty ingredients have been seriously cut down or removed.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup 4.jpg

Can’t you tell from the photos how deliciously creamy this looks? That’s the magic of a little half-and-half and yogurt. The soup has a beautifully thick consistency and really tasted like a true baked potato packed with all the good toppings.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup 6.jpg

If this soup is any indication of the rest of the recipes is Comfort Food Makeovers, then we are going to have a very long and happy relationship together. I’m especially excited to make more of the recipes as  the summer months approach, when we still might want some classic comfort foods, but don’t want to be totally weighed down by them.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup 9.jpg

Next on my list to make from this book includes Mexican Lasagna, Chicken Chilaquiles, Shepherd’s Pie, General Tso’s Chicken, and Pork Lo Mein. I might just take it on Julie and Julia style and make everything! The book even includes lots of recipes from popular chain restaurants, lightened up in a major way, and every recipe includes basic nutritional information (for before the makeover and after!). Another definite winner from America’s Test Kitchen. But really, I’m not surprised.

How do you like your potatoes?

[Sues]

 

Disclosure: America’s Test Kitchen sent me a complimentary copy of Comfort Food Makeovers, but as always, all opinions are my own and I truly am super excited about this book! I’ve been an ATK fan for WAY longer than this blog was even an idea in my head :)

25 Comments

  • I love ATK’s lighter cookbooks – they do such a great job making over even the heaviest recipes so that they still taste indulgent!

    April 2, 2013 9:45 am
  • This cracks me up that you are meh about potatoes. I am obsessed with them. I just finished writing a post about mashed potatoes and confess my obsession, lol. I have to bookmark this recipe. Bacon, cheese, and only 270 calories for a bowl?!!! Awesome!

    April 2, 2013 10:24 am
  • Lexi said:

    I LOVE baked potato soup! Such a good comfort food, and now that I think about it, I didn’t make it at all this winter! Awful!

    My favorites are twice baked potatos…my mother always made them on my birthday, since we could choose the meal, and they were always what I wanted! So, so good!

    April 2, 2013 11:07 am
  • I was never a huge potato soup fan, but that’s probably because it was always a Campbell’s soup can kind. This looks mighty tasty…

    April 2, 2013 11:50 am
  • OMG-you just said everything that I feel about standard potatoes but feel like I get judged for saying! Can we be friends and shun plain potatoes together? We can bond over huge bowls of this creamy, warm, loaded with goodies soup. I love comfort food, done light. Thanks for sharing!

    April 2, 2013 12:13 pm
  • I adore baked potato soup! My mom makes the best one, but this one with yogurt looks fab, too! Pretty much anything ATK makes is awesome, right?

    April 2, 2013 12:39 pm
  • I love potatoes, especially roasted potatoes with fresh rosemary. I am Irish, though, so that could just be from my upbringing when we had boiled potatoes every Sunday. ;)

    April 2, 2013 1:40 pm
  • Nicole said:

    This soup sounds incredible! I love your little soup bowls, too :)

    April 2, 2013 2:49 pm
  • Kelly P said:

    How did I not know about this book until now?? Just ordered on Amazon. Thanks Ladies!!

    April 2, 2013 3:02 pm
  • Megan said:

    My husband always makes a face when I say I want to make a baked potato soup, so I think one of these days I’m just going to have to make this for myself. Then we he sees all the bacon on top, he’ll probably be jealous and want some. :) I’m one of those people who loves potatoes in all forms… baked, fried, mashed. Mashed potato pizza is one of my favorite things.

    April 2, 2013 7:27 pm
  • Susan said:

    Looks delicious and love the calorie count!

    April 2, 2013 9:53 pm
  • Gia Grossman said:

    I’ve never had baked potato soup before but this could change that. This cookbook could change a lot of things considering I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately! Healthy comfort here I come!

    April 3, 2013 9:26 am
  • Shannon said:

    most often i love them roasted :) but this soup certainly looks fabulous!!

    April 3, 2013 10:11 am
  • Pam said:

    I LOVE potatoes… I love them plain, baked, mashed, fried, or as soup. This soup looks amazing!

    April 3, 2013 11:42 am
  • i love baked potato soup! definitely gonna try a healthier version. that means more toppings are okay, right?! :)

    April 3, 2013 12:09 pm
  • it looks so comforting and rich! Just delicious

    April 3, 2013 2:54 pm
  • Mal said:

    ATK is my favorite source for recipes! This soup looks absolutely wonderful!

    April 3, 2013 4:29 pm
  • Reeni said:

    Baked potato soup is one of my absolute favorites! This looks like a super tasty version! All of those recipes sound very appealing – I need this book ASAP.

    April 3, 2013 8:30 pm
  • Joanne said:

    I go through phases with potatoes…usually I want nothing to do with them (unless they’re sweet potatoes) but lately I’ve been a bit obsessed. This soup sounds like just the thing to feed my cravings!

    April 4, 2013 7:26 am
  • Mia said:

    YUMMM! I like my potatoes either baked or fried (as in French fries, hash browns, home fries, etc) – because, seriously, who doesn’t love all that fat? LOL. I’ve been super into Greek yogurt to make things creamy, so I’m very excited to give this a try. I’m not a mammal-eater, so I’ll give it a go with turkey bacon (and maybe a little extra oil for sauteing those onions).

    April 4, 2013 11:17 am
  • Erica said:

    I’ve never gotten the excitement around white potatoes either! I LOVE sweet potatoes though. My husband is a white potato guy all the way. The soup sounds delicious. Another fun potato idea is breakfast stuffed potatoes!

    April 4, 2013 1:43 pm
  • joan said:

    A baked potato is my go-to-meal! You can top it with anything. :)
    Your soup looks delicious!

    April 4, 2013 5:03 pm
  • Odetta said:

    Yum!!! I’ll always eat a potato but prefer them with lots of cheese and toppings! I like the looks of this!

    April 4, 2013 8:11 pm
  • Jen said:

    I totally agree about potatoes! You expressed my exact feelings about them; no one else ever understands! But I’ve always been kind of glad I don’t care for them much because they seem like a waste of carbs – give me pasta, bread, etc., any day instead! I may just have to try this soup despite my usual disregard for potatoes though – it looks so smooth and warm!

    April 6, 2013 12:01 pm
  • Courtnie said:

    Just because of what I had on hand (and the need for more protein!) I subbed bacon for 20oz ground turkey; parmesan for cheddar; and half&half for almond milk. omitted the scallions and yogurt. Used a can of beef broth, a cup of homemade chicken broth, and a bouillon cube as the broth mixture. added some roasted veggie seasoning. it was so good!!

    April 9, 2014 7:51 pm

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