Creamy Potato Soup

I’m going to call this “Creamy Potato Soup” because it’s a normal kind of soup name, and I don’t want people to think me strange, but really, it should be called “Creamy Potato, Bacon, Cheese, Ham Spectacular Spectacular Soup”. Because that’s more of what it is.

There’s a ton of creamy potato soup recipes out there and this is my own that I have been making and freezer cooking with for quite some time. Substitute what you like, or add more or less, you really can’t go very wrong. But if you do change any of the ingredients, then you are not allowed to call it “Creamy Potato, Bacon, Cheese, Ham Spectacular Spectacular Soup”. Because it might not be anymore. You’ll have to just call it “Creamy Potato Soup”.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Medium yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalked, diced
6 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
8-9 cups low sodium chicken broth + ½ cup chicken broth for cornstarch slurry
½ cup cooking sherry
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ¼ cup whole milk
¾ cup heavy cream
Juice of one fresh lemon
8 oz Pepperjack cheese, grated
1 ½ cups diced ham, fully cooked
½ cup crumbled bacon
½ cup finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons flat leaf italian parsley, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon all-spice seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Heat a large stock pot or 12 quart (or larger) stove top dutch oven on medium high and add in olive oil. Add in the diced onions, carrots and celery and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add in diced potatoes and continue to heat for another 3 minutes. Add in garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour in chicken broth and cooking sherry and bring to a boil. Continue with a gentle boil on medium, for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes and vegetables are soft and fork tender. Pour in the cornstarch/chicken broth slurry, stir, and cook for another 2-3 minutes to thicken slightly.

With an immersion blender, cream the soup to desired smoothness. Pour in milk and heavy cream. Then the juice of one lemon. Stir it all to combine.

Add in the cheese, ham, bacon, green onions and parsley.

Add in the all-spice, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly to desired taste.

Here’s how mine turned out:

I heated my large dutch oven on the stove, added my oil and tossed in my diced up onion, carrots and celery and let it start to sizzle.

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After a couple of minutes, the veggies are just getting translucent and soft.

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Throw in your diced up potatoes and let those get hot in the mix too.

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Then add in your garlic and pour in your chicken broth. Then your 1/2 cup of cooking sherry.

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Let this all boil for about 15 minutes until your potatoes and veggies are soft and fork tender. Then mix up your cornstarch and ½ cup of broth and pour that in here. Give it another 2 minutes to boil and your soup base will thicken ever so slightly.

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Two minutes later, get out your immersion blender and blend er’ up, baby! I like mine 80 percent smooth, with just tiny bits here and there of a veggie or potato, more for texture and color than anything. Or just because.

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Ahhhhh smooooooth. Then get your milk and heavy cream and glug, glug, glug that creamy goodness in there.

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Isn’t that pretty?

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Now this may seem odd, but I add the juice of one lemon. It has the slightest little tang to it later. You don’t taste lemon exactly, but it really enhances the other flavors. I’ve tried it with and without, and I always am glad I added it later.

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In goes the ham.

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Then the grated cheese.

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Bacon and green onions.

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And finally the fresh parsley. Now you want to add your all-spice, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. There are quite a few salty elements to this soup, which is why I wait until the end to season it fully. Taste it now for salt and pepper and start small. Et Voila! C’est fini.

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This makes a lot of soup, and I freezer cook it when I make it. This recipe should fill up a 12 quart pot almost full. I divide and conquer and pour the soup into freezer storage containers. Let it cool on the counter for about an hour, and then put on the lids and freeze. You have dinner for tonight, as well as 4 more pre-portioned meals for the future. Well, in our house of 3 people anyway!

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Serve it nice and hot with a little extra parsley and some warmed dinner rolls with butter. And yes, that’s plural on the rolls. Or a salad? Nah. This is not a soup for when you are dieting. I feel like I should say that, in case it wasn’t obvious already.

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Outside of the peeling and chopping, this really is a simple soup to make and it is so packed with flavor and texture. There is nothing bland about this potato soup. It is the perfect meal for a cold December night, while relaxing at home in your flannels, listening to classic Christmas music. Comfort food at it’s finest!

– The Homesteaders Wife

 

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