Potato soup is one of the finest meals in the world, in my humble opinion. There’s nothing that will comfort and fill you up like a creamy and delicious potato soup prepared with love by someone who knows what they’re doing. This simple recipe is my absolute favorite in the winter, but I occasionally make it during the summer, as well, on days when I just want to curl up with a hearty meal and a good book.
I first created this soup back in the winter of 2010, when I was 8 months pregnant with my first son. I was still living in the UK, and I was just CRAVING a good potato soup. I had never made it before, but there was nowhere around that made it, so I figured I would have to do it myself.
I read a few recipes online, and they were all somewhat similar, but each had their own little bit of flair to make them special. I decided to take what I learned from each of them and mash them together to make my own. I ended up creating a HUGE bucket full of soup that lasted several days. Of course that suited me just fine, as it solved my craving and kept me happy.
In the years since then, I have perfected the recipe to the point that I don’t measure anything when I make it. But I have attempted to give approximate measurements for each ingredient to make it easy to make your own. The great thing is that measurements aren’t really important, as it tastes good no matter what.
The obvious starting point is potatoes. You will need a good amount of them. I use most of a 5 lb bag. You can peel them or not, but I prefer them peeled. Dice them up into fairly large chunks, around 3/4 inch or so. Place them in a large pot covered in water. The water should reach about half an inch above the potatoes. Set them to boil.
Next, you need to create a mirepoix with onion, celery and carrots. I use around 2 large carrots, 2 celery stalks and 1 large, sweet onion, each diced into very small pieces. You can add other veggies if you like, but those are the ones I prefer.
Take an entire package of bacon (whatever type you prefer), 12 – 16 oz and chop it into 1 inch pieces. Place them into a large frying pan and begin to fry them up. Once they have rendered their fat and are just to the crispy stage, remove them from the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate.
Leaving the bacon grease in the pan, add a stick of butter and melt it together. Once the butter has melted, add in all of your veggies to the pan. Fry them up until they are tender.
Next, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of corn flour on the veggies and stir it in until it disappears. Then, add about 2 Cups of heavy cream, and stir that in as well. The corn flour and cream should mix together and thicken up. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn’t get lumpy or burn. The heat should be very low at this point.
By now, your potatoes should be fork tender in their pot, and the water in their pot should be JUST at the top of the potatoes. If not, remove some of the potato water so that the line of water is even with the top of the potatoes.
Take your pan of veggies and cream and dump it into the pot of potatoes and water. Stir the whole thing together. The cream and corn flour will mix with the potato starch in the water and thicken nicely while also cutting the heaviness of the cream. Give the mixture a few minutes over low heat, stirring often to help break up some of the potatoes. You want them to soften and break apart a bit for the best texture in the soup.
You can even use a potato masher to mash a couple of times if you prefer.
Once you are satisfied, remove the pot from heat and add in a heaping helping of cheddar cheese, stirring it in to melt it.
And finally, crumble in your bacon from earlier, adding it to the soup for a nice bacon flavor.
You can also save the bacon and/or cheese to add it on top of the soup if you prefer. I like it IN the soup, but others have told me they aren’t a fan of the bacon getting soggy.
The whole thing comes together so quickly. The hardest part is the peeling and cutting of the vegetables, and even that isn’t truly difficult.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try for yourself. It really is delightful and comforting on those cold days when you want to stay inside in your favorite pajamas.
What’s your favorite winter soup recipe? Or just a favorite recipe in general!?
- 1 lb bacon, chopped
- 1/2 C butter
- 2 large sweet onions, diced small
- 2 large carrots, diced small
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- 5 lbs potatoes, cubed
- 2 C cream
- 2 Tbsp corn flour
- 1 C shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper
- In a large pot, place your cubed potatoes and then cover with cold water. Don’t add too much water – just enough to cover the potatoes by about an inch. Set on the stove to boil and cook while you work on the rest of the soup.
- Chop up the bacon into small pieces and then fry them up in a large skillet. Allow them to get pretty well done, as they will get soggier when added to the soup. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the grease.
- Next, add your butter to the pan to combine with the bacon grease. Throw in your diced veggies to the mix. I generally stick to the classic onions, carrots and celery, but you can add mushrooms or other vegetables if you fancy them. Cook them until very tender. Then turn down the heat to low.
- Into the pan, sprinkle your corn flour around the cooked veggies and stir until the flour dissolves. Then pour in your cream, stirring again. Continue stirring until you have a nice slurry.
- Pour your vegetable slurry mixture into the pot of potatoes. Use a long spoon to stir it all together. The water from the potatoes will mix with the slurry and thicken up nicely.
- Add in your cooked bacon pieces and stir again.
- Finally, add in your shredded cheddar cheese.
- Taste the mixture and add salt or pepper until it tastes perfect.
You CAN leave the bacon and cheese out at the end and just use it to garnish the soup, but I personally prefer to have it all IN the soup. It just tastes amazing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 620Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 22g