It's fall and that means soup season! Hooray! Not long ago, I was searching for something easy to make for dinner. Okay, I admit it, I'm not a good menu planner. My dinners are too often thrown together very last minute. And since I had two napping children and no time for a grocery run, it needed to be something that I could make entirely with household staples. I remembered someone mentioning potato soup earlier that week and thought it might fit the bill.
So I turned to the internet and found The Pioneer Woman's Perfect Potato Soup.
Oh Friends, it is perfect. The best part? It's fast. Really fast.
Basic Info: Prep Time: 10 Minutes / Cook Time: 20 Minutes / Servings: 12
Ingredients 6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces - I had some leftover cooked bacon from the day before. Saved a little time and worked a-okay. I've also used chopped up ham from a leftover ham steak instead of bacon. Also delicious.
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced - I've snuck broccoli in, too. Hey, I'm a mama of a toddler. Veggies get thrown in EVERYTHING.
3 stalks Celery, Diced
6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced - Confession: I don't like Russet Potatoes. I used red-skinned potatoes and didn't peel them, because I never do. Saves a step and doesn't matter one bit in the recipe.
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth - I make a lot of my own broth and freeze it. I've used chicken, lamb and ham broth. They all work great in this recipe.
3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream - I use half and half because we always have it. And depending on how creamy you like the soup, you may opt to skip this ingredient completely.
1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix - I used a spicy BBQ seasoning I had on hand. You could try a little chile pepper or cayenne if you like spicy. Or leave this out. It's your soup, after all.
1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley - Yes, dried is fine. Just adjust it to your liking.
1 cup Grated Cheese Of Your Choice - Cheddar is king in this house.
Preparation Instructions Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot. (If you're using leftover bacon or ham, just heat a little olive oil in the pot so that you can start with the next step.)
Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.
Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in a blender/food process until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. **Now this is where I did things differently. I have a stick immersion blender. It is my new favorite kitchen tool. You don't need to transfer any hot liquid and blend in batches. Rather, you just stick it in your pot and blend. Total timesaver and makes a perfectly smooth soup. I find reasons to use it. Ree likes some chunks left in her soup, but I prefer it completely smooth.**
Once you've blended up the soup, taste it and adjust your seasonings. Then, stir in cream (if you want) and parsley. Save some parsley if you want to use it for a garnish.
Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.
So, so good. I serve this with some hot crusty bread. Yum!