A couple of months ago, I received an invitation to travel to Idaho to witness the Idaho potato harvest. I jumped at the chance…potatoes? Little ol' me has had an obsession with potatoes as long as I can remember. I cook with potatoes all the time and I love to consume them…so this was a perfect fit.
Little did I know, this trip would change my life. I'm serious. Dead serious.
I met 3rd generation potato farmers like Jim Tiede (pictured here with his son, Alex), who are proud of what they do and at the same time are humble. They work incredibly hard and were so excited to show us their farms. We often forget the hard work and sacrifice farmers make in this country…I only wish all of you could have gone on this trip with me.
I just love this photo on Jim's farm because it seems so serene to me. Jim's farm harvests 2.7 million pounds of potatoes a day during the harvest which lasts 10 days. I'll bet you didn't know that the potatoes from Idaho are harvested only once a year…and yet they last us all year long. And Idaho is 1/3 of the total potato supply in this country. I found all of that pretty amazing. And the care that goes into the harvest as well as the storage of the potatoes year-round is astounding.
Potatoes are living organisms – don't store them in the fridge or under fluorescent lighting, the best thing to do is to store them in a humid space and store them in the dark.
I also learned that Idaho is gorgeous. Completely gorgeous. The last night we were in Idaho, we made the drive to Teton Springs and I rode a horse for the very first time in my life! It was completely amazing and scary all at the same time.
And about this recipe…it's going into the regular rotation, folks. Curtis absolutely loves it. To be honest, I was going to make a salad and baked potatoes with some of the huge russets I took home with me from Idaho. Curtis insisted that I make a soup. I said how about potato leek soup (which I love) and then he said how about a baked potato soup?
I love the depth of flavor this soup has from actually baking the potatoes to adding sour cream to the soup. Be sure to temper the cream and the sour cream so it doesn't curdle. Instructions on how to do that in the recipe.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup Recipe
- 3 to 3.25 pounds Idaho Russet potatoes, scrubbed and washed
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 green onions, sliced and divided in half
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup sharp cheddar, grated (and more for topping)
- 2 heads of broccoli, florets cut
- cooked bacon for topping, optional
- Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil. Place potatoes on cookie sheet and bake for 60 minutes. After baking, allow potatoes to cool for 20 to 30 minutes or cool enough for you to handle. Remove the potato peels and chop into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes.
- Melt butter on medium heat in a large heavy bottom French oven, I used my 5.5 quart Le Creuset. Add half of the green onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add chicken broth and turn heat to high and bring to a boil. After it comes to a boil, turn heat back down to medium or medium low and allow to simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes in the broth, about 5 to 6 times.
How to temper cream and sour cream
- Add cream and sour cream by tempering. Do not add both directly to the pot, first take a measuring cup and remove about 1-2 cups of potato soup mixture into a bowl. Add half of the cream and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Pour cream-potato soup mixture back into the pot and repeat for the remaining cream and sour cream. By tempering, you ensure the cream and sour cream doesn't curdle in the soup.
- Add the 1 cup of cheddar cheese and all of the broccoli to the soup and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes on low to medium low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with cheese, bacon and green onion as toppings.
Disclosure: I'm proud to be sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission, who made these experiences possible. I only share with you my favorite brands and all opinions expressed are always my own.
Can you post an adaptation of this for us crock pot users- especially since there’s the tempering of the cream, etc?!
I want to make it, but don’t always have time. So if I prep some things a day or 2 ahead and dump in the crock pot, life is so much easier!
It’s so cool when I google a recipe an a friend pops up!!! Just what I needed!!!
Rachel (teacher-chef) says
I pinned this a while back and today when I was home from school because of snow & had some broccoli just calling out to be used… guess what lunch was!!
YUM – photographed it and can’t wait to share with my readers. Your trip sounds like lots of fun too 🙂
Julie Deily says
Oh that’s so awesome to hear! So glad you liked it! Please share a link when you post it. 🙂
Made this tonight. LOVED it! I don’t usually have heavy cream in the house, but since the holidays are here, I did! The only change I made was to add about 2 cloves garlic with the onion in the beginning. This was sinfully delicious. DH said I could make it again. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!
Used evaporated milk instead of the cream and it was still delicious!
This looks delicious! Have you tried subbing out the cream for something a little lighter? I’m wondering if I were to use milk instead of cream, what else I’d have to tweak in order to get consistency right and flavor without as much fat.
This soup looks delicious! I am planning to make it for my family and I was just wondering how many servings this recipe makes?
Julie Deily says
Hi Amanda, it’s about 10-12 servings but it really depends on if you’re serving it as a meal or a starter for a meal. Hope your family enjoys it if you make it.
I made this just now and it was fantastic – much richer and creamer than other recipes I have tried. Thanks for posting it!
Julie Deily says
Thank you so much! So glad you liked it!! 🙂
Made this soup last night and it was sooo delicious!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!
Julie Deily says
Katie, I’m so glad to hear that!! Yay!
Tara @ Unsophisticook says
Mmm, I could go for a big bowl of this right now!
Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes says
It was SUCH a wonderful trip. And I will never look at a potato the same way again! It was such a pleasure to finally meet you in person, too, Julie! We’ll have to get together and eat some potatoes again soon!! 🙂
Julie, your trip sounded amazing. I agree with you. We often forget how hard the farmers in America work. I’m seriously blown away by the amount of potatoes harvest in 10 days!!! This soup sounds awesome… and broccoli? Even better!
Linda | The Urban Mrs says
What a wonderful trip – did you enjoy horse riding? This soup looks very comforting and delicious! Do you suggest cooking with other potatoes, too?
Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says
Idaho IS gorgeous, this looks like it was a great trip. Love the soup, too!
Rachel Cooks says
Oh yum! I could eat this soup every day!
Hello comfort food! This looks incredible & sounds like you had a great trip!
addie | culicurious says
this looks great, Julie! I love the addition of broccoli. Great idea! 🙂
elizabeth @ chronic venture says
sounds and looks like the trip was a wonderful experience. this soup looks equally as amazing!
Very delicious! Wish I could have made the trip!
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
What an experience! And you’re totally inspiring me to make a trip out to Idaho. And this soup is a must try! I’ve only had restaurant loaded baked potato soup but I really need to try this at home!
Bev @ Bev Cooks says
OmmmmmmG this looks incredible. I’ll totally let you feed me.
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies says
This looks fantastic, Julie! Total comfort food for fall and winter. 🙂
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
What an incredible experience, Julie. So very glad you were able to do that (and make that). 😉
[email protected] says
Hey Julie, I’ve always wanted to visit Idaho–I hear it’s breath-taking! What a cool experience. Your soup look delightful and perfect for the cold weather. 🙂
Jen @ Savory Simple says
Love the photos! What a great soup.
amy @ fearless homemaker says
It looks + sounds like such an amazing trip! And that soup? Looks absolutely wonderful. I wish i had bowl for lunch today!
Ali | Gimme Some Oven says
Love all of the photos! Looks like such a wonderful trip. And I adore loaded potato soup!!! This looks wonderful, Julie! 🙂
I respect farmers so much. My grandfather was a farmer back in Sicily, I understand the dedication & pride part.
I had no idea that one harvest last all year – crazy! And cool!
Great looking soup Julie!
Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen says
I truly love potato soup and I bet my boys would love your version with the broccoli!
This sounds phenomonal!
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says
Kind of weird to think of potatoes as a living thing. I know they continue to grow. It’s just weird. But boy do I need more potato soup again soon. This looks delish!
Robin @ Mom Foodie says
No way I am making this! I love baked potato soup a little too much…lol
Averie @ Averie Cooks says
I know others who were on that trip and it looked amazing from all the pics I saw…I would love to visit that part of the country one day!
And this soup – stellar job. WOW
Your photos in this post just POP!
This looks like an awesome trip. I love learning more about how food is grown, produced and where it comes from. And this soup looks out of this world!