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Cheesy Potato Soup With Crispy Potato Skins

This easy Cheesy Potato Soup With Crispy Potato Skins is creamy, cheesy, rich and flavorful - and the baked crispy potato skins and all the extra fixin's take it over the top!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 689kcal
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

The Soup and Crispy Potato Skins:

  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons roasted chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, add more or less to taste
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

The Extra Fixin's:

  • 4 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Wash the potatoes until clean; dry them with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel (they need to be dry so they will crisp up in the oven).
  • Peel the potatoes in long, wide strips. Cut the peels, as needed, so the pieces are about 2 inches long. Chop the peeled potatoes into ½-inch pieces.
  • Place the peels in a bowl; toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread out the peels in one layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (this will keep them from sticking and will also make for easy clean-up). Try not to have any pieces on top of one another so all the pieces get nice and crispy.
  • Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through (be sure to spread them out again), or until they are golden brown and crisp. Remove the pan from the oven and let them cool.
    Note: To use your time most efficiently, start making the soup while the potato peels are in the oven
  • In a large pot (I use a 4-quart pot or larger), cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot to a plate lined with paper towels. Remove all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pot.
  • Add the butter to the pot along with the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the onions have begun to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes (don't let them brown; reduce the heat if needed).
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for another minute
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for another minute (this will cook out the raw flour taste).
  • Combine the water and roasted chicken base; add it to the pot along with the chopped potatoes and seasoned salt. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Add the milk and heavy cream; stir to combine.
  • Puree half of the soup in a blender and add it back to the soup; stir to combine.
    Note: Puree in batches, if needed. Never fill the blender more than half full. Be very careful, as steam will build up in the container. Remove the center cap in the lid, if there is one, to allow steam to escape. Cover the lid and hole with a clean folded kitchen towel (and use oven mitt to protect your hand), and hold down the lid while blending to prevent it from coming off and spewing out hot liquid. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety guidelines for blending hot foods in your specific blender.
  • Over low heat, add the 2 cups of cheese and stir until it has melted and the soup is heated through. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
  • Divide the soup among four bowls and top each serving with ¼ of the crispy potato skins, ¼ of the bacon, 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 tablespoon green onions, and 1 tablespoon of sour cream. ENJOY!

Recipe Notes

  • This soup and the crispy potato peels are best when served immediately!
  • If you have leftovers, store the cooled potato skins in an airtight container at room temperature. They may be less crispy the next day.  
  • If you don't have a blender, you could skip the step of pureeing half of the soup. The soup will be a bit thinner with more potato chunks, but it will still be just as delicious!
  • Grate your own cheese. Some shredded cheese have anti-clumping ingredients, which can result in soup with a grainy, unpleasant texture.
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