Carnation Café Loaded Baked Potato Soup
The Carnation Café, located right on Main Street U.S.A, is just as quaint as its surroundings. Anytime I have dined there through the years, I have been fortunate enough to snag a table on the outdoor patio. There you’ve got a wonderful vantage point to do some great people watching. The giddy excitement on the faces of those who are walking up the street for the first time, anticipating the magic ahead. The reluctance of every step that takes someone closer and closer as they leave the park after an exhausting but amazing day of fun.
The restaurant offers lots of great comfort food. And not just any comfort food. But Walt Disney’s comfort food, such as “Walt’s Chili”. Connoisseurs of chili probly won’t find this to be the best bowl of chili they’ve ever had, but it was Walt’s favorite so changing it just isn’t an option!
My personal favorite is the Baked Potato Soup. This thick and creamy soup is definitely going to stick to your rib. And your waistline too when you consider the bacon and the heavy whipping cream used in the recipe! But it’s absolutely worth every calorie. Chef Oscar Martinez created this delectable recipe during his more than 60 year career working at Disneyland. For years he could be seen just outside the Carnation Café greeting guests as they entered the park and posing for photos. He retired in 2017 but his recipes continue to be served to hungry guests.
I have made Chef Oscar’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup at home on cold winter days. It takes some time, particularly because of the amount of chopping and peeling involved. But my labors have always yielded a delicious bowl of soup that brings my mind back to that little café on Main Street U.S.A that Chef Oscar loved so well.
Chef Oscar’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup Yield: 6 servings
- 1 pound bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 3/4 cup diced celery
- 4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 medium red potatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
Optional garnishes: chopped chives, bacon bits, sour cream, shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
1. In a 6- to 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp.
2. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving half for garnish. In bacon fat, cook onions, carrots, and celery until the onions are translucent. Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Whisk in flour and stir constantly over low heat until the flour is cooked and the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add chicken stock and half of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Over medium-high heat, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash some of the potatoes for thicker, creamier texture. Add whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Adjust thickness by adding water or stock. Soup should have a creamy consistency. 6. Season to taste, and garnish with toppings.