Is it just me or has Pinterest utterly exploded with fall food lately? I’m not one to ever, in any way judge when it comes to autumn enthusiasm, but I wasn’t expecting it quite so soon. I’ll take any excuse, though, to put “4-5 cans of pumpkin purée” on my grocery list.
This Cajun take on a loaded potato soup is a perfect way to start getting excited about fall food. It’s simple and quick, loaded with flavor, and so comforting without being too heavy. I whipped it up for lunch one day with leftover roasted potatoes, and it was divine.
I have this
sort of full-blown obsession with Zapp’s Crawtator chips. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved the rich spiciness of Cajun flavors, and these chips just bring it all home for me. They’re thick and crunchy, with a hint of crawfish flavor that delivers a complexity to the snack, without tasting much of, well, “seafood”. Crumbled on the top of this soup, it’s a bit of a kitschy garnish that adds incredible texture (so crunchy!) and brings home that flavor we added to the soup.
This soup is all about seasoning to your taste–I like things pretty spicy, so I added a good bit of Cajun seasoning. I also pretty much adore thyme, so I added a hefty amount to mine. Not as big a fan? Tone yours down to your specific taste, and it’ll still be completely delicious.
Cajun Loaded Potato Soup with Zapp’s Crawtators
- 2 red potatoes, about 6 ounces total, cooked*, quartered
- 2 strips bacon
- 1/4 cup chopped onion (or skip this and add onion powder to your liking, like my lazy butt)
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk, preferably whole or 2%
- Cajun seasoning, to taste (I use Tony Chachere’s Spicy–and used about 1 tablespoon)
- Dried thyme, to taste (I started with about 1/2 teaspoon)
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste (This is a strong element of Cajun cooking, so I used about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon)
- Shredded cheese, to taste (try about 1/4 cup)
- 1 green onion, sliced thin
- 2 handfuls of Zapp’s Crawtators or other Cajun chip, crushed
1. Fry bacon over medium to medium-high heat until crisp in a heavy-bottomed pot. Remove bacon from pot, crumble, and set aside. Pour off all but about 2 teaspoons bacon grease (reserve that liquid gold!). Sauté your chopped onion in the bacon grease over medium heat a few minutes or until onions are softened and translucent.
2. Add broth and potatoes to pot. In a bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup milk and whisk til smooth. Add to pan with other 1/2 cup milk. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Cook for 1 minute, or until slightly thickened.
2. Using an immersion blender (or potato masher, if you don’t have an immersion blender), blend the soup until your desired consistency.
3. Season the soup with Cajun seasoning first, then supplement with thyme, salt, and pepper (and onion powder, if using).
4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese, crumbled bacon, green onions, and crushed Zapp’s chips. Dig in!
*You can cook your potatoes in the microwave by piercing with a fork and nuking for about 13 minutes. Let cool before handling. Or boil your potatoes by covering with cold salted water and placing over high heat. Allow it to come to a boil and boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until you can pierce easily with a fork. Drain and run under cool water to stop the cooking process. I prefer to keep the skins on, but you can remove them, if you prefer.6