Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Bacon and Ham
Adjust the serving size:
If you hover over the serving size of this Loaded Potato Soup Recipe, it will allow you to adjust it to whatever size you want to make! I’m excited to bring you all that feature!!
The original amount is meant for you to eat it a couple times as a family and still freeze a bunch, or to make and divide for a soup exchange. The original recipe here uses a full 10 lb bag of potatoes, but it should be easy to reduce this recipe down to whatever size you want to make.
Making it in one pot:
In all of my recipes that include bacon, I generally cook it in my cast iron (especially to season it) but I only wanted to use one pot for this one, and since it was a big batch, I used my huge stock pot, which is about 22 quarts. I love this stockpot. If you need one and want the same one I’m using, it’s right here. It got it cheaper at Bimart, but that’s the one.
You don’t have to peel potatoes:
I made this full batch, using a 10 lb bag of potatoes, but as I mentioned above, you can adjust this recipe easily (even by hovering your cursor over the serving size). Also, I don’t generally peel my potatoes. A lot of nutrition is in the peels, I like to keep things as easy as possible (we all have better things to do!) and potato peels are rustic. I peeled mine this time because my potatoes were horribly ugly! I mean, by the time I cut off all the bad parts, they would have been peeled anyways! lol! Feel free to use your own judgment in this step!
Make this once, freeze it, and eat it many times:
We ate this for several days in a row, and then I put the remainder into quart jars (a little more than 2/3 full, because stuff expands in the freezer, and you will get broken jars and wasted soup if you fill it too full! This is simple soup, but you don’t want to do any work at all and lose it! You can also use freezer bags, or whatever other methods you like for freezing your leftovers. It would also be a great inclusion for soup exchanges. I might need to look into starting one of those soon because I have a lot of soup recipes to share.
Throw in your leftover Ham:
This soup is comforting, easy, and a great way to use up some leftover ham from Easter. It was also gorgeous. I gave you a button to skip to the recipe, so please forgive me as I make you hungry with photos of the soup so that you will want it right away.
Fully loaded, thick and creamy potato soup. Bacon inside and out. Ham, cheddar, and perhaps some cream cheese if you choose, this soup is beautiful, comfortable, and flexible! You can adjust this recipe to make a little or a lot, and I would suggest a lot! Join or start a soup exchange, freeze a bunch in jars (2/3 full so they don't break!) or bring some to your needy friend.
- 2 package Bar S Bacon chopped (easier to do with very cold bacon)
- 10 lb potatoes peeled and diced, unless you like the skins on. I do unless I get ugly potatoes, which I tend to get in the 10 lb bags
- 2 onions diced
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 3 cups diced pre-cooked ham leftovers are awesome
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp cumin
- 4 cans chicken broth or 58 oz
- 16 oz sour cream
- 12 fl oz evaporated milk I used fat free
- 2 tbsp cream cheese optional
- 4 tbsp chives optional
Put chopped bacon into Cast Iron Dutch oven, or other heavy pot, and fry until almost crispy on medium high temperature.
While cooking bacon: scrub, peel (optional) and dice potatoes into small pieces
Dice 2 onions.
Smash and dice garlic- A full bulb, or approximately 9 or 10 cloves.
Fill cheesecloth with fresh thyme and tie it.
Remove half of the bacon and put aside for garnishing the soup.
Add all above ingredients to the pot of bacon once it is ready. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes
Add 3 cups of pre-cooked ham and 2 bay leaves
Add chicken broth (about 50 oz or 4 cans) and deglaze the pot
add cumin, and bring barely to a boil (be very careful not to burn to the bottom!)
Add sour cream
Whisk in evaporated milk
Use a hand blender to blend soup down to desired consistency. I like to still have a few chunks, but mostly smooth and creamy soup, so I blend for about 8 minutes.
Let sit until thickened. This soup will be better, and thicker the next day. You might even decide to add more seasoning as the potatoes will have absorbed it, and milk to loosen it up to reheat.
Garnish with leftover bacon, diced chives, and even some cubes of cream cheese if you'd like. This is flexible, but remember, we eat with our eyes just as much as with our mouths! Make it look good!