Mom’s Irresistible Cheesy Potato Soup is named thusly because, no matter where I was or what I doing, if Mom said “I am making Cheesy Potato Soup,” I was THERE! I would drop everything (even boyfriends) and come running. This lasted clear through my teenage years and into adulthood.
So, two years ago this coming spring, Mom broke her hip and while I was in South Carolina getting her through therapy and back on her feet, I finally got her to teach me her recipe while standing with her walker by the stove. I am so glad I was able to get it before she passed away. I sure do miss her, may she rest in peace, but at least, I won’t miss Mom’s Irresistible Cheesy Potato Soup. It is the epitome of stick-to-your-ribs, comfort food goodness!
- 6-8 medium potatoes washed & peeled (about 6 cups diced)
- 1 large or 2 medium onions
- 1 cup diced ham or ½ cup precooked, crumbled bacon
- 4-6 cups broth to cover -- ham or chicken broth are best (use water if you don’t have broth on hand, but add a little extra salt to taste)
- 4 tablespoons of real butter (don’t use margarine—it will be ridiculously oily!)
- 2-3 garlic cloves minced or finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley (Italian parsley is best)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (give or take, salt to taste)
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes (or use one of the three alternative methods listed below in Notes)
- ½ cup warm milk or 1 tablespoon of dry milk powder (no need to add water)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream (if desired)
- ½ cup shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar, but use what you have)
- Wash, peel, & dice potatoes. Cut them bigger than bite size because they will reduce as they cook.
- Dice onion and ham (or fry, cool, and crumble bacon).
- Add potatoes, onions, ham or bacon, broth (just enough to cover), butter, garlic, parsley, sea salt, and pepper to crock pot, cover and turn it on high. Allow it come to a slow boil and simmer 60-90 minutes until potatoes are tender and onions are transparent. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and set the lid on crooked to allow it cool a little. This is because you don’t want the milk to curdle when you add it.
- Warm the milk to about 120°F (just barely steaming but not hot). You do not want to pour cold milk into hot soup or it will curdle.
- Thicken the soup with leftover mashed potatoes or by using one of the techniques described below in Notes.
- Add warm milk, sour cream, and cheese to the pot and stir gently until well combined.
- Allow to simmer another 15 minutes and serve.
- Mom always used Russets but you can use any potatoes you have on hand. Just keep in mind that Reds, Yukon Golds, and other thin skinned potatoes cook faster. Your soup will be done quicker and have a different flavor.
- I like to use left over mashed potatoes from a previous meal as my thickener but any of the following techniques will work also.
- 1) Cook a few more potatoes than you need (about 1 1/2 cups worth), and when it comes time to thicken, remove those extra potatoes and mash them. Then return them to the pot.
- 2) Add some potatoes flakes (either store-bought or homemade potato flakes). You do not need to rehydrate them, just pour them straight in the pot. For store bought use 1/4 - 1/2 cup and for homemade use about 1-2 tablespoons. There is a link my post on "How to Make Homemade Instant Potatoes" down in the related posts section!
- 3) Remove one cup of the hot liquid and stir in a tablespoon or two of cornstarch. Stir until fully dissolved and return it to the pot.
Here are a few photos for the visual learners!
Enjoy! And be sure to come back and let us know how you liked it! Got a good soup recipe? Link it up in the comments below!