If you’re from Raleigh you are probably familiar with Cafe Carolina. They have the best soups, salads, and sandwiches. Its kinda like a Panera but better. I have savored the loaded baked potato soup since it has gotten a bit cooler out. I love soup but I especially love soup that is filling. Its tough because we digest liquid quickly so sometimes soup can leavee you feeling hungry just a couple hours later. This is not that kinda soup. Its got bacon, cheese, sour cream, and a bunch of yummy things that make this soup a rib stickin’ meal. I tried my best to make a cafe carolina loaded baked potato soup copy cat recipe. I based this recipe off of The Pioneer Woman’s version but I tweaked it here and there.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 3 Huge baking potatoes (4-5 small ones)
- 1 package bacon (topping)
- 2 carrots peeled
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 Vidalia onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk
- salt and pepper
- scallions (topping)
- Sour cream (topping)
- cheddar cheese (topping)
You could also add some jalapeños or a couple dashes of texas pete for a kick. Having a couple slices of french bread around for dipping isn’t a half bad idea.
Start by chopping up the bacon into small chunks and throw it into a large stock pot. This will take a good while so be sure to do this before you start chopping up the other bits. You don’t have to use an entire package of bacon since it will just be a topping. If I’m gonna make bacon I prefer to just get it all done once.
Peel the potatoes and dice them up into small chunks as so.
Dice up the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.
Once the bacon is cooked through you can remove it from the pot and drain off almost all of the grease. Leave a very small amount of the grease to cook the veggies with. Cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes on meidum to high heat or until the veggies are soft.
After five minutes you can add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fairly soft.
Combine the flour and milk into a slurry and stir this into the soup. It will thicken up pretty quickly. Remove a couple ladles full of the soup and blend the remainder in a blender or with a hand blender. Pour the removed soup back into the pot.
Add a 1/4 cup of cream if desired and mix. Taste the soup and season to taste. this may require a good bit of salt.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Chop up some scallions and grate some cheddar cheese. Add a dollop of sour cream, the cheese, bacon, and scallions to the top of the soup. Serve with slices of french bread or by itself.
Ain’t no denying this stuff is delicious. Try it out or go get the real thing!