176. There has been a brisk change in the weather from warm 78 degree sunny days to rainy, cool, breezy days of 58 degrees. So soup was on the menu tonight. We had a plethora of potatoes so the search for a soup with potatoes was the theme. This recipe for Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup is delicious, AND, the ingredient of fresh chopped chives from my herb garden was a plus.
My honey found this yummy recipe on Cooks.com. We followed it but tweaked it a little.
Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup with Fresh Chives
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut the uncooked bacon in small pieces
1 large onion, chopped
12 medium to large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Using a large dutch oven or soup pot, saute the bacon pieces till they are crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 2 Tablespoons bacon grease Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook till transparent. Then add chopped potatoes to the pot. Saute for about 5 minutes. Then add chicken stock and kosher salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes till potatoes are tender.
Once potatoes are tender, take a potato masher and mash the potatoes here and there, leaving chunks. Add the cheese all at once and stir till cheese is incorporated.
Serve with crispy bacon and chopped, fresh chives. Also, with warm crusty bread.
On the Cooks.com recipe, there was a wonderful potato "tip" that was very helpful: "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.
The herbs in my herb boxes are still growing beautifully. I trimmed off about 15 stems to use to garnish the soup. A tip I've learned, with chopping chives, is to hold them together and trim with kitchen scissors. The chives stay crisp and you can cut them as small or as large as you desire.
The soup was smooth and so warming. Very hearty and filling as well. Like a loaded baked potato in soup form!
This soup was wonderfully delicious. And was a perfect warm up to the weather outside.
"How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?"
~ Paul Sweeney