Do you love Panera’s baked potato soup? Then you’ll love this copycat version! It’s so rich and creamy!
Soup Season Is Here
It’s turned very nippy here. Lots of wind, misty rain and dull days.
Looking on the bright side, it’s the perfect weather for soup!
Lately, I’ve found myself preferring soup, salad and crusty rolls for dinner rather than the usual meat-and-potatoes deal.
Rich But Light
While this heading may seem paradoxical, it really isn’t.
This baked potato soup has a rich taste, but at the same time, it’s very light. It relies primarily on the taste of a good chicken stock, tangy cream cheese and a bit of bacon for flavor.
With cream, cream cheese and chicken stock, this wouldn’t convert to a vegan recipe all that easily, but it can be made meat free for lacto-vegetarians by using a good veggie stock and eliminating the bacon. For a bacony flavor, some of the vegetarian soy-based bacon isn’t too bad so you might want to consider using some of that if you desire a smoky flavor in the soup.
Many Versions Of The Same
You will doubtless find many similar recipes for Panera’s Baked Potato Soup on the web.
They all are good and will only differ most times by one or two ingredients or amounts of those ingredients. I based this recipe off of Stephanie’s recipe on Copycat Recipes as it aligned more closely with my tastes. However, I like more creaminess in a soup and I like these types of soups a bit thicker, so I altered her amounts of butter and flour. And of course, I love bacon, so more of that was added!
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 3 tsp chicken base (I use Better Than Bouillon)
- 4 large potatoes, peeled & diced into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 tbs butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 oz cream cheese, cut in cubes
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- ⅓ cup diced cooked bacon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Place potatoes, chicken stock and chicken base in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- In another large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and aromatic, about 5 minutes.
- Using a wire whisk, whisk in the flour gradually so no lumps form. Let this "paste" bubble for about 1 minute.
- Gradually add the stock/potato mixture, stirring well so no lumps form. Cook until liquid thickens, about 5 or so minutes.
- Add the cream and the cream cheese and stir until cream cheese is melted.
- Season with the salt and pepper. Add the cooked bacon and chopped chives; heat through.