Craving this Cheesy Bacon Potato Soup while sick with a cold was a conundrum and a half. Should I get off the couch and make it for supper after dreaming about it? Or should I ask the teenager to make it ( this potato soup is THAT easy!) or just have a tomato sandwich and a nap, leaving the family to fend for themselves later on?
I've been making this potato soup for 9 years!
The craving won, of course and Mr Magpie ended up making the soup for supper. We actually make this potato soup on a regular basis when we are wanting something carbo-licious with bacon for dinner. This potato soup was published on my site before in 2009, but thanks to The Great Website Crash of '10, it is one of the posts that I never really fixed up the pictures for. I kept the recipe in my drafts – luckily because I have had many reader requests for it since the Crash- and just waited for the moment I could take a new picture and fix the post up.
So here's my new, fixed up post for one of my favorite soups that I have ever whipped up. Salty, creamy, bacony awesomeness.
Potato Soup in the Crockpot, Instant Pot OR Stovetop
The real trick to this being a great potato soup is that you add bacon and cheese for flavour, of course. The bacon just takes this over the top and makes it the best potato soup I've ever tasted. I usually make this potato soup in the crockpot as it's the perfect soup to cook slowly. You can easily make this on the stove top however, and the Instant Pot! There are directions for each one in the recipe below!.
What kind of potatoes do I use for soup?
You want to use russet potatoes to make potato soup – and in any soup that you don't want the potatoes to retain their shape and size. You have to use a potato that is going to fall apart in the broth which adds a richness and thickness to it. You don't want to use Yukon Golds as they keep their flavour and won't fall apart in the broth. Potatoes that hold their shape are better in soups like my Classic Hamburger Soup where you don't want the potatoes to fall apart, you want them to keep their shape. Russet potatoes will fall apart and are what is behind the the magic of potato soup – they're a natural, delicious soup thickener.
Tips and Tricks for Making Great Potato Soup
- Make sure to use russet potatoes in this recipe as you want them to slightly fall apart and make the soup a little bit thick and starchy.
- You need a fairly strong-tasting salty chicken broth base to make this great. I found Knorr bouillon in a jar that you just add to the water and it dissolves SO much easier. LOVE IT. When making the boullion keep in mind you are adding salty bacon to the soup as well so err on the side of caution and don’t make it AS strong as you like it, make it a little less. You can always add more in once you taste the sodium that your bacon has added to the soup. Bacon’s vary so greatly that a super salty piece could send this soup over the brink of too-salty no return!
- The thought occurred to me what a fantastic party food this is! Small bowls for your guests to help themselves from a steaming crock pot of soup, with perhaps some soft potato bread on the side. In fact, if I get around to issuing the invitations for a Christmas open house I think I want to have, this is on the menu.
- If and when you serve this, wait until right before it's time to eat to stir in the milk and make sure that you stir it occasionally to prevent a gruesome skin on top.
Happy cooking! Let me know in the comments below if you try this potato soup and what you thought!
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- 5 strips of bacon
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 3 cups large russet potatoes cubed about 4 after chopped
- 4-5 cups chicken broth made from bouillon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup Tex Mex cheese
- and more if you want to top the soup with it
- Sour cream- if you want to top the soup with it
Add the spices into the crockpot and stir in.
Crisp your bacon and drain, reserving 2-3 Tbsp of the bacon grease, then crumble the bacon into small pieces. Add the bacon to the soup.
Saute the onions and garlic in the bacon grease until they are soft, then add to the soup.
Cook in the crockpot on high for 3-4 hours, until the potatoes are slightly falling apart and the broth is cloudy.
When the soup is ready with fully cooked potatoes that are slightly falling apart, you need to make a roux. (Flour/butter/milk thickener). In a medium size pot over low heat, melt the butter.
Stir in the flour until it's combined, it will be all clumped together, this is ok.
Next, little by little, stir in the milk making sure that the milk is absorbed into the flour without making it lumpy. Eventually the mixture will be smooth.
When all of the milk has been added and the mixture is smooth, add in the cheese and stir until melted.
Move your potatoes to one side of the pot so there is a soup surface to mix in.
Whisk in your milk/cheese sauce into the crockpot. Cook for another 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally so there isn't a skin on the surface.
Serve and top with the Tex Mex cheese, extra parsley, extra bacon, you name it, it will work!
Fry the bacon and the onion in your Instant Pot using the "saute" setting until the onions are soft and translucent and the bacon is cooked. Drain, keeping the bacon and onions in the pot.
Peel and chop up your Russet potatoes and place in the crockpot, along with the broth. Add in the spices. Seal and using the soup button or manual cook for 45 minutes high pressure. Release the pressure manually - safely ( how you do this is up to you)
Follow instructions to make the roux, then whisk it into the Instant Pot. Use the simmer button and while stirring frequently, let it thicken up. Serve when ready.
Fry the bacon and the onion in a large stockpot until the onions are soft and translucent and the bacon is cooked. Drain, keeping the bacon and onions in the pot.
Peel and chop up your Russet potatoes and place in the crockpot, along with the broth. Add in the spices.
Cook, covered, on a low simmer for 45-55 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender and are falling apart.
Follow instructions to make the roux, then whisk it into the stockpot. Simmer a while longer to thicken, then serve.
You can make this vegetarian by omitting the bacon.Use 2-3 tbsp of butter to fry the onions instead!