Unambiguously Baked Baked Potato Soup

I squinted down at the bowlful of white glop in front of me then up at the waitress. I asked, “Where’s the cheese?”

“What cheese?”

“The cheese! The cheese! How can you have baked potato soup without cheese?”

She looked at me like I was nuts. “We don’t put cheese on our baked potatoes so why would we put it on our baked potato soup?”

“Huh?” Realization came slowly (I can be so dense sometimes). “Oh…It’s Baked Potato *pause* Soup, not Baked *pause* Potato Soup.”

The you-are-a-nut look became more intense as she said, “I have no clue what you’re talking about. I can bring you some cheese though. No problem.” And off she went to get a little plastic cup holding a few orange shreds.

The shreds did not ease my disappointment over the ambiguously named soup, nor did they make the soup taste any better, nor did they make me feel like any less of an idiot.

What did make me feel like less of an idiot? The above awkward restaurant conversation inspired me to create this:


Baked Baked Potato Soup

Unambiguously the most heavenly of cheesy carb-fests: It’s baked potato *pause* soup topped with orange shreds, baked, then topped with crispy potato skins, sour  cream and green onions.

Serves 6

  • 4 lbs potatoes (about 10 medium), washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (divided: 1 tbsp for the whole potatoes prior to baking, 1 tbsp for helping to crisp the chopped potato skins)
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (divided: 1 tsp for the whole potatoes prior to baking, 1/2 tsp for the chopped potato skins)
  • 3/4 tsp coarse black pepper (divided: 1/2 tsp for the whole potatoes prior to baking, 1/4 tsp is added to the soup pot)
  • 6 slices uncooked bacon (about 6 oz. total)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose white flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp table salt or fine kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried ground sage
  • 2-3 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 6 tbsp sour cream
  • 6 tbsp chopped green onions.

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

Place the potatoes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the coarse sea salt and black pepper. Rub each potato to coat with the oil and to spread the seasoning around. Put the potatoes into the oven and bake until they yield easily to a fork prick, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon according to package directions, being sure to reserve 2 tbsps of the bacon fat. Coarsely chop the cooked bacon.

In a large pot, warm the reserved 2 tbsp of bacon fat over medium-low heat for a minute. Whisk in the flour, reduce heat to low and and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, making sure the mixture is smooth. Slowly whisk in the remaining chicken broth and 2 cups of water.

Chop half of the potatoes and add the pieces to the pot along with the chopped bacon. Slice the other half of the potatoes in half and scoop the fluffy white insides into the pot. Chop the remaining potato skins very coarsely.

Put the chopped potato skins back onto the baking sheet. Drizzle them with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt. Toss to coat and spread them in a single layer. Put the pan back into the oven for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and browned.

While the potato skins are browning, add the table salt, 1/4 tsp coarse pepper and the sage to the soup pot. Bring the pot of soup to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if needed. Reduce heat to low and cover pot, simmering and stirring occasionally until the potato skins are crisped.

Place oven-safe soup bowls onto a large jelly roll pan (this makes it easier to get them in and out of the oven). Fill bowls 2/3 full of the soup. Sprinkle each with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cheese. Place the pan of bowls into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted.

Top each bowl of soup with some of the crispy potato skins, a tbsp of sour cream and a tbsp of green onions.

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Check out the other posts from the series Linguistically Ambiguous Food:

Find out about past, present and future themes on Cook the Story here.

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Get more potato recipes at Foodista:


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  1. #1 by The Mrs on February 21, 2011 - 10:36 am

    You might deserve the Nobel Prize for this. I want to make it NOW.

    • #2 by cookthestory on February 21, 2011 - 12:57 pm

      Thank you! Can you just imagine a Nobel Soup Prize? That would be soooooo awesome.

  2. #3 by Carly on February 21, 2011 - 10:51 am

    Amazing! Totally making this for dinner this week. Oh, and I love the name.

    • #4 by cookthestory on February 21, 2011 - 12:57 pm

      Thanks Carly! Let me know how it turns out.

  3. #5 by Dani on February 21, 2011 - 11:46 am

    Ooh, I love the idea of chopped potato skins on top of the soup. So much better than croutons!

    • #6 by cookthestory on February 21, 2011 - 12:58 pm

      Thanks Dani. They are really good. Note that they won’t stay crisp overnight so you have to take any extras to the couch for snacking after supper.

  4. #7 by Rachel on February 21, 2011 - 12:10 pm

    Your posts make me drool. I love it that you’re not afraid of bacon (grin). I’d be happy with just the skins, bacon, cheese, sour cream and green onions… sort of potato nachos! Soup on the side, of course! Mmmm… hungry NOW!!

    • #8 by cookthestory on February 21, 2011 - 12:59 pm

      Potato skin nachos? What a great idea! I bet they’d be good with a bit of meaty chili on them too.

  5. #9 by Katerina on February 21, 2011 - 12:58 pm

    This hearty soup is ideal especially now that the weather is getting cold here. I am bookmarking this!

    • #10 by cookthestory on February 21, 2011 - 1:26 pm

      Growing up, my mom used to always make potato bacon soup in the winter. Nothing warms the belly with comfort quite like it, that’s for sure!

  6. #11 by Liz on February 21, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    That crunchy potato skin idea is genius! This looks delicious. Too bad it’s 80 degrees now! Maybe next week . . .

    • #12 by cookthestory on February 21, 2011 - 2:07 pm

      I know! When I was working on the recipe a couple of weeks ago it was super-cold out and the soup offered such comfort. I guess you just never know in Florida. (Erm…except in the summer .Then you know: hot hot hot!). At least many of my readers live in Canada. They still need the warming comfort.

  7. #13 by Kristina on February 21, 2011 - 5:36 pm

    HOLY. This beats the pants off of my baked potato soup, which is merely soup made from baked potatoes. I will have to jazz it right the hell up with some of those potato chips…and I love the baked cheese on top idea. Do you cook it until it’s browning like you would with french onion soup? (Could you, without a crouton?)

    • #14 by cookthestory on February 21, 2011 - 10:10 pm

      Yes, I cook it until it’s browning where the cheese is in contact with the bowl. But you’re right that without the toast/croutons, the cheese starts to slide into the bowl around the edges. You end up with brown bits on the bowl (to scrape off and savor) but not in the soup itself. 😦 I thought about putting toast in there but it just felt wrong. Way way too much carb. Glad you like the sound of it!

  8. #15 by Barry on February 22, 2011 - 4:37 pm

    Who would not like to come home to a bowl of this wonderfulness. Get your pots out boys and girls this one is deeeeelicious.

  9. #16 by phyllis pittman on February 22, 2011 - 4:41 pm

    Who would not like to come home to a bowl of this wonderfulness. Get your pots out boys and girls this one is deeeeelicious.

  10. #17 by Jimmy on February 27, 2011 - 12:13 pm

    Oh oh OH !! You and your baked potato soup and your puddings… you are wicked! I love this blog and its topic. It was great meeting you! I can easily see you going forward into people’s kitchens and catering away to your heart’s content; people always want NEW, and you seem very capable at supplying demand. I work a lot with bread and pasta: home-made ravioli with a filling made from my grandmother’s 1927 Italian Chicago “ghetto ” recipe… fabulous! There are some in the freezer right now… !
    Be well, keep up the good work !!!

    • #18 by cookthestory on February 27, 2011 - 1:53 pm

      Thanks Jim! That ravioli sounds incredible. Great meeting you too. Happy writing!

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