Everyone knows that Chili’s loaded baked potato soup is the best, loaded with bits of cheddar and bacon in every bite of that creamy baked potato base! Here’s how to reproduce that scrumptious flavor in your own home, so you can go back for seconds (or thirds) if you want to!
This is also the perfect recipe if you happen to have leftover baked potato. Now, the type of potato is going to determine the texture of the finished soup, so keep that in mind if you are a “texture” person.
2 medium potatoes, baked
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup vidalia onion, diced finely
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock (About 2 cans)
2 cups Cold water
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs cornstarch
1 1/2 cups instant mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
2 green onions, sliced thinly
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or medium stockpot, then add the finely diced onions and saute until translucent, but not brown. (If you really want to impart the bacon flavor you can use the same pan that you browned the bacon in, as I have done here)
Add the flour to the onions, stirring to incorporate them, cook for about a minute, stirring gently.
Dissolve the cornstarch in the COLD water, then add stock, instant mashed potato flakes, dissolved cornstarch water and spices to the pot, whisking gently to incorporate all of the ingredients over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking often.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Cut the baked potatoes in half lengthwise, make a couple slits in the potatoes to make small bite sized pieces, then scoop out the contents with a large spoon. You’ll need about 2 cups in all.
Leave about 1/4″ worth of potato on the skin and you’ll be able to make your own loaded baked potato skins with the leftovers!
Add the baked potato pieces, 1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese and half & half to saucepan, bring it back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup for another 12-15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
Just prior to serving add about a tablespoon each of shredded cheddar cheese, bacon and chopped green onion pieces to the top.
Now, I’ve been told that Chili’s doesn’t directly add cheddar to their soup itself, however, the Chili’s in our area DOES, it imparts a wonderful cheddar flavor to the soup itself and if you run out of garnish, you still have all the flavor.