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Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Source: Quick from Scratch - Vegetable Main Dishes
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Rating: 4   Reviews: 33 See Reviews
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Active Time:  15 Minutes
Total Time:  30 Minutes
  Serves 4
A few simple ingredients make a sumptuous soup. Be sure to use a high-quality cheddar; it's crucial to the dish's flavor. Choose a yellow cheese for the richest color. For a chunkier soup, skip the pureeing and just break up some of the potato with a spoon.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, chopped
3 pounds baking potatoes (about 6), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped chives or scallion tops
Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup Recipe at Cooking.com
DIRECTIONS
In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat or, if you don't have 2 tablespoons, add enough cooking oil to make up the amount. Reduce the heat to moderately low.


Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.


Remove half the soup from the pan and puree in a food processor. Alternatively, mash some of the potatoes with a potato masher. Return the puree to the pan. Over low heat, add the cheese and stir until melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Taste the soup and add more salt if needed. Serve the soup topped with the bacon and chives.


VEGETABLE TIP:
Boiling potatoes have less starch than baking, or Idaho, potatoes and consequentially hold together better when boiled. This is why they're often used in soups and for potato salads. Not in this soup, though. Since we want some of the potato to break down into smaller pieces and thicken the soup, baking potatoes are the perfect choice.


WINE RECOMMENDATION:
Serve a Washington State merlot with this rich and smoky soup. Merlots from Washington's Columbia and Yakima Valleys are a bit more restrained than their brethren from California and have a distinct mineral undercurrent that makes them a natural here.


Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 Classic Cheese Soups
 One-Pot Purees
 Potato Soups
 Creamy Comfort Soups
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 575
Fat. Total: 31g
Fiber: 4g
Carbohydrates, Total: 58g
Sodium: 1066mg
% Cal. from Fat: 49%
Cholesterol: 64mg
Protein: 18g
Spotlight Recipe Review See all 33 reviews »

Rating: 5
by: Christine, UT Reviewed: 12/31/2006
I've made this recipe many times over the last few years! It is one of my favorites. I puree half the mixture as instructed, but I do not mash the remaining half because I prefer it to be chunky and hearty. I recommend a sharp cheddar, but have also used medium cheddar, and it is excellent either way. Plus, the bacon gives it a nice smoky flavor which makes this a little different then most potato soup recipes. Keep in mind that this soup is even better the next day, so you might want to make a double batch so you'll have left-overs! I love to serve it with a fall salad and sourdough.
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