This comforting soup recipe is a lightened-up, yet just as delicious, version of the classic Loaded Baked Potato Soup. With its crispy bacon and extra sharp cheddar cheese, you won’t even miss the butter and cream!
Light and Creamy Baked Potato Soup
Raise your hand if you love SOUP! You already know I DO. Just check out my category for Soup and you’ll see that I never run out of ideas for a warm slurp of creamy tastiness.
What is my new favorite soup recipe? Why, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, of course! This lightened-up spin on traditional loaded baked potato soup is inspired by the wonderful flavors of fully loaded baked potatoes with bacon, cheddar, sour cream and green onions. Some like to use chives, but I am a fan of green onions, and that’s the way it has to be.
This cozy potato soup is perfect if you’re looking for a relatively low-calorie meal that tastes like a million bucks. It’ll warm you up, fill you up, and lift your spirits up, too!
So, let’s not hold off any longer – you’ve got to get started on this creamy goodness!
What is Loaded Baked Potato Soup?
Loaded baked potato soup is a thick, creamy soup recipe with a chicken broth or chicken stock base. It’s got all the flavors and components of an actual loaded baked potato – hence the bacon, potato chunks, cheese, green onions, etc.
Basically this soup is everything that is amazing and delicious about a baked potato… just in soup form. With fewer calories. You gotta try it!
So obviously you’re going to need some potatoes, some cheese, and some bacon… but what else should go on the shopping list? Here’s a comprehensive list of what you’ll need:
- Olive Oil: For cooking the bacon. If you’d rather use another cooking oil like canola, go for it.
- Bacon: Thinner slices of bacon usually cook faster, so that’s what I generally use. Feel free to use thick-cut bacon if you’ve got a little time on your hands, though.
- Onion: Diced. I used a yellow onion.
- Garlic: Minced.
- Potatoes: I like to use russet potatoes, peeled and diced.
- Seasoning: Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste.
- Broth: You’ll need low sodium, fat free chicken broth – however, full fat chicken broth will work too.
- Yogurt: Round up some nonfat plain yogurt so that there aren’t extra added flavors.
- Sour Cream: I like to use reduced fat sour cream – again, regular will work too.
- Cheese: Grab some shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese. You could grate a block of cheddar cheese instead, if you want.
- Green Onions: These will add flavor and act as a garnish.
How to Make Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Loaded baked potato soup takes just under an hour to make – not bad at all! There’s a lot of stirring, and some chopping, involved, but other than that, it’s pretty easy. Here’s exactly what you’ll need to do:
Cook the Bacon: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, turning occasionally, to a desired crispness, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove bacon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
Cook Onions & Garlic: Add remaining olive oil; stir in onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for an additional minute.
Add Potatoes & Chicken Broth: Stir in potatoes and add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Mash the Potatoes: Using a slotted spoon, transfer half the potatoes to a bowl and mash until almost smooth. Return the mashed potatoes to the soup pot.
Add in the Rest of the Ingredients: Add yogurt, sour cream, and 1/4 cup of cheese. Cook and stir until the cheese is melted and the soup is heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and taste for seasonings; adjust accordingly.
Garnish with Bacon: Crumble the previously prepared bacon. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with bacon crumbles, remaining cheese and green onions.
Tips for Success
Pretty simple process, right? And, you can sneak some pieces of bacon along the way, as long as you leave enough for the garnish at the end. That’s pro tip number one. Here are some other tips that will help you make the best loaded potato soup:
- Leave Bacon Drippings in the Pan: After you’ve finished cooking the bacon, leave the drippings in the pan. They offer GREAT flavor to the soup – so, whatever you do, don’t wash that pan!
- How to Mash Potatoes: You can do it by hand using a potato masher or a fork, or you can go for a super silky and smooth soup, and use a blender.
- What Potatoes Should I Use? I like to use russet potatoes for this soup, but red potatoes can also be used if you’re looking for a substitution.
- Alternate Cooking Method for the Potatoes: Sometimes it saves time/is easier to just boil the potatoes in water, mash them, and add them into the soup like that instead of letting them cook in the broth. (Note this will slightly reduce the cooking time.)
This soup is so filling that we usually don’t need anything else to go alongside it. Maybe a light green salad if we need a little something extra. However, this soup is excellent for toppings – there are so many to choose from! Obviously you’re going to want to sprinkle on some extra cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and green onions. But, you can also add tortilla chips, avocado slices, sour cream, corn, etc.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
This soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container. When it comes time to reheat it, just microwave yourself a bowl for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a time, until warm. You can also pour it back into a pot and heat it until warmed through on the stovetop.
Lighter Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 6 slices NatureRaised Farms Uncured Bacon
- 1 yellow onion , diced
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 3 russet potatoes , peeled and diced
- salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- 4 cups low sodium , fat free chicken broth
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese , divided
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add bacon and cook, turning occasionally, to a desired crispness, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove bacon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Leave bacon drippings in the pan.
- Add remaining olive oil; stir in onions and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook, stirring, for an additional minute.
- Stir in potatoes and add chicken broth; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer half the potatoes to a bowl and mash until almost smooth.
- Return the mashed potatoes to the soup pot.
- Add yogurt, sour cream, and 1/4 cup of cheese.
- Cook and stir until the cheese is melted and the soup is heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and taste for seasonings; adjust accordingly.
- Crumble the previously prepared bacon.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with bacon crumbles, remaining cheese and green onions.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
More Soup Recipes
If you’re looking for more easy, healthy soup recipes, check these ones out:
- Ham and Bean Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Slow Cooker Creamy Cauliflower Soup
- Meatball Soup
- Cheeseburger Soup