This time of year, comfort foods sound so amazing and really just hit the spot! With the changing seasons, you start craving things that you don’t normally crave any other time of the year – like chili, hot chocolate, candy apples, pumpkin and creamy, hearty soups.
And when it comes to soups, I automatically think about Panera Bread’s baked potato soup (which is unbelievable).
I actually used to work at a Panera Bread a long time ago for one of my first jobs. It was pretty awesome getting to try all the wonderful comfort food, but you can only eat so much of that before there are problems. Needless to say, I don’t have it much anymore… But when I did, I would love to get their baked potato soup.
The nice thing about working in any restaurant is that you start to figure out all the tricks and how to make things better.
For example, one day while working I had an employee ask me if I ever tried parmesan cheese in my baked potato soup. I told her I hadn’t, but she swore by it, claiming I’d love it…
Turns out she was damn right: it was fantastic! It took on this new flavor that was just so rich and creamy – pretty much everything you’re looking for in a soup.
But while this soup is usually heavier (and made with heavy cream), I decided to make a light baked potato soup recipe. This also has that parmesan that was suggested to me a long time ago, with a hint of cheddar as well. Now you can enjoy a hearty, creamy and delicious baked potato soup, but without the guilt.
3 russet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. flour
5 cups milk (I used 2% reduced fat)
5 slices of bacon
3 green onions
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
- First you want to cook up your bacon. Chop the pieces of bacon into small pieces, then put them in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. When finished cooking, place onto a paper towel on top of a plate.
- In a stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the flour to the butter and whisk until lightly browned.
- Slowly and gradually start to whisk in the milk. Keep whisking until slightly thickened (should take about 2-3 minutes).
- Add the potatoes and green onions to the mixture and bring to boil.
- Bring back down to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Measure out each cheese and add to the soup. Add in bacon. Stir until combined and all the cheese is melted.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Notes: My soup was a little thick so I added more milk, but it just depends on how you like it. Garnish with extra cheese, bacon, and green onions if you like! (Garnish was not added into nutritional information below.)
Serving Size: 1 cup
Fat: 13 g
Carbs: 21 g
Sodium: 282 mg
Protein: 12 g