Our copycat recipe for Panera's baked potato soup has everything you want to satisfy your potato soup cravings. Fall in love with this easy to make at home soup that's full of chunks of potato, crumbled bacon, and grated cheese all simmered in creamy broth that is sprinkled with bacon, cheese, and chives.
For the Soup
- 3 tablespoons butter (45g)
- 1 cup yellow onions, chopped (125g)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (60g)
- 5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (1.18 liters)
- 1/4 cup whole milk (60 ml)
- 2/3 cup heavy cream (160 ml)
- 5 cups russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (775g)
- 4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, cubed and softened (113g)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (42g)
- 1/3 cup bacon, cut in 1/2-inch pieces (6 pieces)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Pinch to 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric, for color (optional)
- 1/4 cup chives (10g)
For the Garnishes
- Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Chives, minced
- Bacon, cut in 1/4 inch pieces
- Saute Aromatics: In a large Dutch oven set over medium high heat, melt the butter, then add the onion with a generous pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook until it's fragrant, roughly a minute.
- Make the Roux: Sprinkle on the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Add the Liquids: Slowly pour in the chicken broth while whisking to prevent clumps. Pour in the milk and the heavy cream. Stir, then carefully add the potatoes to prevent splashing.
- Simmer: Cover and bring to a slight boil, which will take roughly 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Keep covered and simmer for 8 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Cook the Bacon: While the soup is cooking, fry the bacon in a cast iron skillet until it is golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and blot off any extra grease. Allow to cool, then crumble into smaller pieces.
- Mash: Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes in the soup to help thicken the soup and to change the texture. Mash roughly half the potatoes.
- Add the Spices: Stir in the sea salt, Tabasco, liquid smoke, and a pinch of turmeric if you want it to have a more golden hue.
- Add Cheese and Meat: Add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, Neufchâtel cheese cubes, bacon crumbles, and chives. Whisk until the cheese melts, then simmer uncovered on medium low heat for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- Serve: Garnish with additional toppings, such as bacon, chives, and Parmesan cheese. Serve in a sourdough bread bowl or in a soup bowl with a chunk of a French baguette or a wedge of black pepper focaccia. Panera also gives you the option of kettle chips or an apple with your soup.
- Be careful not to overcook the russet potatoes.
- Panera Bread has chunks of potato, so go easy with the potato masher.
- To prevent clumping, whisk in the chicken broth gradually.
- Use cream cheese or sour cream if you can't find Neufchâtel cheese.
- Like the idea of a bread bowl? Use any kind of small round bread. Panera uses sourdough.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Panera baked potato soup calories, discontinued