Do you love loaded baked potatoes and potato skins? If so, you will definitely add this gluten free creamy loaded baked potato soup to your rotation of dinner recipes. This soup tastes indulgent without being overly so. While some cheese soup recipes call for tons of cheese, this one is thickened with multiple ingredients as well as cheese. It still tastes incredibly rich, even when made dairy free or reduced calorie. This is a soup the entire family can enjoy as well as guests.
Reducing Calories Further
When cheese soup recipes are thickened only with cheese, it requires lots of cheese! This recipe uses lots of sauteed onions to thicken it naturally as well as rice flour to thicken it up even more. These additional ingredients make it less indulgent without sacrificing on flavor.
You can make it less fattening by using reduced fat cheese. Just make sure it is gluten free. Some manufacturers reduce fat in products by adding flour and other unexpected ingredients. Using reduced-fat cow’s milk or non-dairy milk instead of whole milk also reduces calories. Another calorie savor is the use of gluten free turkey bacon. Applegate makes one that is gluten free. The use of reduced-fat sour cream is another option. However, be sure the brand you use is also gluten free. You can take the calories down another few notches by omitting the additional cheese and bacon as a garnish. Using margarine over butter is also another tip.
2 cups (10 ounces) shredded medium or sharp Cheddar cheese (or dairy free shreds [Follow Your Heart or Daiya), plus more to for garnish
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Working in batches, place the bacon in a cold, heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat on both sides until crisp, reserving about 2 tablespoons of drippings. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain; set aside. Once cooled, crumble into small pieces.
To the skillet, add the reserved drippings and onion. Saute over medium-low heat until tender, 7 - 8 minutes. (Do not wash the skillet yet. You'll use it again.)
In a large pot or 7-quart Dutch oven, combine onion, chicken broth, and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes tender.
While the soup simmers, melt the butter in the bacon skillet you set aside. Whisk in the rice flour, cooking for 1 - 2 minutes to soften the flour. Slowly stir in the milk. Then pour this mixture into the potato mixture.
Add the remaining 2 cups milk, stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir constantly while cooking over medium heat until thick. Thin with additional broth or thicken with additional flour as desired. If you prefer a creamy soup, working in batches, cream the soup in a countertop blender or in the pot, using a hand blender. Alternatively, leave chunky.
Add half of the bacon, sour cream, and shredded cheese. Stir and cook until cheese melts. Serve in cups or bowls and top with remaining bacon, additional shredded cheese, and green onions.