Start to Finish: 70 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Cheesy potato soup is the ultimate comfort food. Using a blender to puree part of the soup makes the dish silky, while onions and sharp cheddar cheese provide flavor. This version is vegetarian, but can easily be tailored to please bacon lovers.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion
- 4 russet potatoes
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 carrots
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup cream
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the oil. Peel and dice the onion and add it to the pot. Cook the onion until translucent, or about 5 minutes.
Wash the potatoes, celery and carrots and peel the potatoes and carrots. Dice all three and add them to the pot. Stir the vegetables into the onion and let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
Pour the broth over the potato mixture. Stir the soup and cover the pot. Let the soup cook over medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and starting to fall apart.
Take the pot off of the heat. Ladle half the soup into the blender. If the cap of your blender has a removable center piece, take it out to allow some steam to escape. Placing an oven mitt or hand towel over the top of the blender, turn it on using the lowest setting. You may need to slowly increase the speed or ladle in some additional liquid from the pot to get the soup to blend.
When the soup in the blender is pureed, pour it back into the soup pot. Add the cream and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Shred the cheese and stir it into the pot. Serve the soup hot.
Tips and Tricks
This soup is one way to use up leftover baked potatoes. Peel and cube the cold potatoes, then add them to the pot with the celery and carrot. With precooked potatoes, you need only let the soup cook for 15 to 20 minutes to soften the vegetables.
If you own an immersion blender, using it is a simple alternative to using a stand blender. Lower the blender into the soup before turning it on. Pulse the blender just a few times for fairly chunky soup, or move it all around the pot to make creamy soup.
Even if you don't have an immersion blender, you can tailor the texture of the soup to your tastes. Blend all of the soup, working in two batches, to make it silky and smooth. Skip the blender and use a potato masher to slightly break up the potato pieces if you prefer your soup lumpy.
- To pack this soup with bacon flavor, start out by frying 6 strips of bacon. Set the bacon aside and pour 4 tablespoons of bacon grease into the soup pot, supplementing with olive oil if you don't have enough grease. Cook the onions in the grease and add the crumbled bacon to the finished soup.
- Make soup spicy by adding one minced jalapeno pepper to the onion and using pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar.
- Flavor the soup with a blend of cheeses, such as a mixture of cheddar, provolone and grated Parmesan.
- Top a bowl of soup with a dollop of sour cream, chopped chives or caramelized onion. You may also stir in steamed broccoli florets or cooked sausage.
- Photo Credit Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images
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