The first time I made this soup, I was extremely skeptical throughout the entire process. I don’t know quite what it was, but I just didn’t have confidence that it would turn out right. I was apologizing before I served it just in case.
See, people who don’t cook much think that anyone who can cook can automatically make perfect food all the time? Friends assume I would be amazing on Bake Off or Master Chef. They have no idea how hard that type of cooking and baking actually is. They also have no idea how many times my kitchen experiments fail.
This soup, though, is decidedly not a failure. It might even be a kitchen triumph. This Cheesy Potato Soup is stupid awesome. Like swoon-worthy. It’s quite rich, so only give yourself a small bowl. You’ve got to plan ahead for this because once you start eating it, you won’t want to stop.
Usually I try to trust my instincts in the kitchen, but they were way off base here. This soup is where it’s at, kids. You absolutely must try it.
- 8 ounces smoked streaky bacon
- 1/2 onion, peeled
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1-1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1-1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup cream (or replace milk and cream with one cup half and half if you can get it)
- Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste (I didn't need to add any extra salt, so definitely actually taste it)
- 1 green onion, chopped
- Put a soup pt over medium heat, and scissor your bacon into it. Cook until your bacon pieces are crispy, then remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. If your bacon has given up quite a lot of fat, you may want to spoon some out until you have only a couple of tablespoons left in your pot.
- While your bacon is cooking, roughly chop your onion and celery so that they'll fit into your food processor. Toss in the garlic clove and pulse until you have itty bitty bits of vegetables. Once your bacon is out of the pot, add about a cup of your blitzed vegetables into the hot pot. Give them a good stir and cook until they're softened, about five minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over your vegetable mixture, and give it a good stir. Let it cook for a minute or two to get rid of the raw flour flavor.
- Next add your potatoes, mustard powder, and paprika. Stir to make sure everything is combined and your potatoes are coated in the spices.
- Add the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to the pot. Your potatoes will be just barely covered. Bring this up to a bubble, then lower your heat to low, put the lid on your pot with just a crack to let some of the steam escape, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Once your potatoes are soft, give them a quick mash. I like this soup with a bit of texture. The more mashing you do, the smoother it will be, obviously.
- Stir in the cheese, milk, and cream and let it cook while stirring for a minute or two until the cheese is melted.
- Remove the pot from the heat, taste for seasoning, and add some pepper and cayenne, as well as salt if you think you need it.
- Add your soup to the bowl, then sprinkle on some of the crispy bacon, and scissor some green onion over the top. Try not to eat the whole pot by yourself.