Extra Life Recipe: Loaded Potato Soup

All By Seneca

Today’s recipe was made during the Extra-Life event this past weekend. The original recipe was given to me by one of the families I tutored for during my sophomore year at undergraduate school. Over the years I’ve modified it little by little into what I now use as a simple at home recipe for when the weather is a bit too cold for my liking. The family called it potato goulash, but I think of it more as loaded potato soup.

tsp = teaspoon

Tbsp = Tablespoon

lbs = Pounds

Mince = chop into very small pieces

Diced = You chop the thing into roughly square like shapes

Cubed = Actually what it says, cut the ingredients into rough cubes, much bigger than diced

Sliced = Cut into thin broad strips (usually circles)

Chopped = to cut into small pieces with repeated blows

Al Dente = Pasta and/or Vegetables, Rice or Beans that are cooked to be firm to the bite. – Another way to put it is that it’s cooked but not fully cooked

Saute = cook with oil

Fold = Mix the ingredients by scooping the bottom of the mix onto the top of the mix.

Reserve = Hold on/Don’t discard. Usually a liquid that is normally considered waste.


  • 5 lbs of red potatoes
  • 3 pieces of garlic – fresh
  • 10-11 ounces of cream of chicken
  • 10-11 ounces of cream of celery
  • 1-2 pounds of bacon (depends on preference)
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • Salt – for taste
  • Half a quart of whole milk (even 1% works, it just won’t be as thick)
  • 2 bunches of chives (maybe only 1 if you’re not a chive addict like me)

Necessary Equipment

  • 1 large pot (at least 2 quarts)
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 sharp knife
  • 1 wood spoon
  • 1 serving soup spoon
  • 1 pan
  • 1 mug


  1. Fill up the large pot 2 thirds of the way full with water, and put it on the stove top to boil. Don’t forget to salt the water! Heat the water on high.
  2. While the water is heating up, wash and then chop up the potatoes into slightly larger than bite size pieces. I personally like to leave the skin on. While chopping the potatoes remove any off looking bits (brown, root, etc).
  3. Put all the chopped potatoes into the water once it starts to simmer and let the potatoes boil for 20-30 minutes. This can depend on the heat of your stove, a good way to tell if you’re ready to move onto the next step is if the potato skins are starting to pull away from the rest of the potato chunk. Make sure the stove’s temperature is so that the water is simmering, not boiling.
  4. Once you’re potatoes are ready, place the mug at the bottom of the sink and pour our all of the water except 2-3 inches of it. Pour the water over the mug so that you have more if you accidently pour out too much.
  5. Once the water is drained, set the pot back on the stove top. Put the cream of chicken and celery in the pot and half a quart of milk. Stir well, if the soup still looks too thick add more of the original stock to the mix. Stir before you add more. The soup should be simmering, not boiling or you will get soup all over your counter tops and stove top. The soup will take at least an hour to cook down fully, what you’re looking for is the potato chunks to dissolve and the soup to become less chunky.
  6. Peel and chop three pieces of garlic, then cut the bacon into small bite sized pieces.
  7. Heat up the pan and melt the butter in it, once the butter has melted sauté the garlic in the butter until it turns golden and the smell of garlic is wafting up at you. Then move the garlic from the pan to the pot, stir the soup well.
  8. Use the pan to now cook the bacon, watch the bacon carefully to ensure that it does not become crispy. Once the bacon has been cooked (feel free to do this in stages if you only have a small pan), move the bacon and the bacon fat that has pooled at the bottom of the pan to the pot. Stir well every time you add more bacon or bacon fat. If you want extra bacon on top, feel free to reserve some for later. The bacon you reserve can be cooked longer for a more crispy bacon topping.
  9. Now you should have some time to sit back and relax a bit while the soup continues to cook. If you bought un-shredded cheese now would be a perfect time to shred it. Check up on the soup ever 15-30 minutes until the consistency is right. Make sure to scrape your spoon into the sides and corners of your pot so that the potato soup doesn’t stick to the pot there.
  10. Once the potatoes have dissolved into the soup, turn the heat down to low. Chop the chives if you haven’t yet. Once the bacon, cheese and chives are prepped and the soup is done serve yourself a wonderful bowl. For a nice presentation like the one above put the chives, bacon, and cheese on top of your soup.
  11. Enjoy your soup! Maybe share with a friend.