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 small

2--3 Tablespoons bacon seasoning, (grease or butter, your choice)

1 medium onion, diced small

2 medium carrots, diced small

2 celery ribs, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced small, optional

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups milk, 1%, 2%, whole, however, I might skip using skim milk

2 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 salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup packed grated sharp Cheddar, plus more for garnish

6+ slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, plus more for garnish, optional

6 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.
Serves 6.

Note: If your potatoes aren't a little mushy, take a potato masher and mash away; be sure to leave some chunks of potato, though.

Note: This is a great starter recipe. For variety you can add Cajun seasoning or Old Bay seasoning, thyme, cubed ham, wild rice, cooked broccoli, Velveeta cheese, Mexican cheese, drained chopped green chiles, green onions, leeks, rotisserie chicken, cooked sausage, corn, clams, or cooked shrimp. You are only limited by your imagination!

Note: If you want a creamier soup, use an immersion blender.

Note: You can skip the bread bowls and serve with garlic cheese biscuits.