Mary Anne's Creamy Potato Soup
Potato soup is one of those classic comfort foods that folks turn to when the "weather outside is frightful" and you need a hot bowl of soup to warm you up. This savory soup is easy, nourishing, and sure to be a family favorite! 8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small2--3 Tablespoons bacon seasoning, (grease or butter, your choice)1 medium onion, diced small2 medium carrots, diced small2 celery ribs, thinly sliced1 red bell pepper, diced small, optional2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour4 cups milk, 1%, 2%, whole, however, I might skip using skim milk2 chicken bouillon cubes, dissolved in 1/2 cup hot milk (Use 1/2 cup of the 4 cups of milk)1 cup half-and-half (or another cup of milk if you don't have any on hand)1 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon pepper1 cup packed grated sharp Cheddar, plus more for garnish6+ slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, plus more for garnish, optional6 bread bowls, optional
- In a 4-quart saucepan, add the diced potatoes and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil and cook until they are almost done. Drain in a colander, cover, and set aside for a few minutes. In the same saucepan, melt the bacon seasoning or butter and sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and red bell pepper, if using. Sauté for about five minutes until all are tender.
- Stir in flour and cook for about one minute, stirring constantly. Add the potatoes, milk, and dissolved bouillon cubes. Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, until the potatoes are completely soft. Note: Be sure to constantly stir to make sure the milk does not scorch. Add the cup of half-and-half or milk, salt, pepper, cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon, if using. Cook a few minutes longer on low, again stirring constantly. Serve soup in bread bowls, if using, and garnish with bacon bits and grated cheese.