Prep 20 mins
Cook 55 mins
Potato soup with sharp Cheddar cheese = comfort & cozy:) If you chose to add bacon, I think a peppery-rubbed bacon. That is delicious! If you choose a vegetarian soup - ignore the bacon and add just the sauteed mushrooms, & use the vegetable broth! Complete the menu with hot, crusty, out-of-the-oven bread, and a sliced tomato & onion salad with a vinaigrette.;)
- 2 russet baking potatoes (6-8 oz.each) or 2 yukon gold baking potatoes (6-8 oz.each)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted. butter (less if possible) or 3 tablespoons unsalted margarine (less if possible)
- 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
- 1⁄4 cup chopped celery
- 1⁄2 cup sliced button mushroom
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes (optional, more if needed)
- 4 cups half-and-half (we used 2% milk) or 4 cups light cream (we used 2% milk) or 4 cups milk (we used 2% milk) or 4 cups soymilk (we used 2% milk)
- 2 -3 cherry tomatoes (for color)
- 1 1⁄4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth or 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 8 slices of peppery rubbed bacon (crispy broken pieces, please the real thing) or 8 slices turkey bacon (crispy broken pieces, please the real thing)
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
- 1⁄4 cup sour cream
- Scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush; pat dry & prick with a fork.
- Bake in a 425º F oven for 40-60 minutes or until tender; cool.
- Peel potatoes, if desired, & chop potatoes; set aside.
- In a heavy large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter or margarine over medium heat.
- Add onions, celery, & sliced mushrooms.
- Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
- Stir in flour, thyme, salt, pepper & crushed red pepper.
- Add half-and-half, or milk, or soy milk all at once, as well as, cherry tomatoes.
- Cook and stir for 5-6 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.
- Add potatoes, 1 cup of the cheese, and the broth; stir until cheese melts.
- Slightly mash potatoes with the back of a spoon or a potato masher.
- For the topping, reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon.
- Stir the remaining bacon and 1 tablespoon of the green onion into soup.
- Heat through.
- To serve, top each serving with reserved bacon, remaining 1/4 cup cheese, green onions and the sour cream.