Give this hearty short-cut recipe a try when you’re craving warm comfort food. Your reward will be a classic home-style soup made fairly quickly and with almost no muss or fuss.

The microwave oven dramatically cuts traditional potato baking time, and it also “micro-fries” bacon strips in 2 1/2 minutes (with no skillet cleanup afterward).

The ingredients and bowl will get hot during cooking, so have a mitt handy for lifting them in and out of the microwave oven.


1 large (5 1/2- to 6-inch, about 12-ounce) baking potato, punctured through the middle with a thin knife

2 generous tablespoons unsalted butter

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2slicesbacon (do not use low-fat or turkey bacon)

3tablespoonschopped celery or onion

1 12cupsflavorful low-sodium chicken broth


1teaspoonmustard, preferably Dijon

3tablespoonschopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

2 to 4 tablespoons shredded mild cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, for garnish


Step 1

Place the potato on a paper plate. Microwave on HIGH for 8 minutes, then pierce it with the tines of a fork to check doneness. If it’s not quite done, microwave on HIGH for 1 to 1/12 minutes more. Cool slightly, then cut open the potato lengthwise. Add the butter; use a fork thoroughly mash it into the hot potato flesh. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels. Place the bacon on it, then scatter the celery or onion on top. Cover with a double thickness of paper towels. Microwave on HIGH 2 for minutes, then turn over the bacon; re-cover with the paper towels. Microwave on HIGH for 30 to 60 seconds; stopping to check frequently, until the bacon is browned and crisped. Let cool, then crumble the bacon on its paper towel.

Step 3

Thoroughly stir together the broth, cornstarch, mustard and chives in a 1-quart glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the bacon and celery or onion.

Step 4

Scrape the baked potato flesh from its skin (discard the skin); stir that into the bowl, to form a soup.

Step 5

Microwave (uncovered) on HIGH for 2 1/2 minutes. Stir, then microwave for 1 minute more, or until the soup has thickened and is bubbling hot. Use an oven mitt to transfer the soup to a large (2 1/3-cup) mug or divide between two 1 1/4-cup mugs.

Step 6

Scatter the cheese on top  (to taste). Garnish with more chives, and serve.

From cookbook author Nancy Baggett.

Tested by Lisa Cherkasky; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

The nutritional analysis uses onion.

To print or scale this recipe online, view it here.

More recipes from Voraciously:

Super-Quick ‘Baked’ Fruit and Yogurt Mug

6-minute Berry Cobbler Mugs

Zesty Rice, Corn, Bean and Green Chile Salsa Bowls


Servings Per Container: 2; Calories: 390; Total Fat: 24 g; Saturated Fat: 11 g; Cholesterol: 50 mg; Sodium: 920 mg; Total Carbohydrates: 35 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 9 g.