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This comforting soup is a loaded baked potato in a bowl. Creamy, thick and satisfying, this Potato Soup will take the chill off a winter’s day and can be made vegetarian… unless it’s a vehicle for bacon bits like it is around my house. You know who you are.
Ingredients for Potato Soup:
2 pounds potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup sour cream
2 – 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup finely chopped ham or Canadian bacon (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
Garnish for Potato Soup:
chopped green onion or chives
Notes: Makes about 8 cups of soup; 2-4 entree servings or 4-6 starter servings. I used red potatoes and red onion, but any variety of potato and onion will work. Red potatoes have less starch and take less time to boil than russet or gold potatoes. For more pronounced celery flavor, use the leaves too. Soup thickens as it cools.
Prepare the potatoes. Clean, peel and chop potatoes. I don’t peel the potatoes completely, I like the rustic quality and the color that some potato peel lends to the soup. Be sure to cut potatoes into uniform pieces so they will cook more evenly.
Cook the potatoes. Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Cook potatoes until soft, 15-20 minutes.
SPECIAL STEP: Midway through the cooking process, remove about a cup of potatoes and set aside. Finish cooking the remainder of the potatoes and drain water. This step is not necessary, but I like to have “chunks” of potato floating in the creamy soup.
Mash the potatoes that have cooked through (not the reserved cup that are half-cooked). Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Make the soup. Over medium heat, saute onion and celery in a small amount of oil until tender. Add ham or Canadian bacon if using. Saute a few minutes more.
Add mashed potatoes and minced garlic. Stir in one cup stock. Stir in sour cream. Add second cup of stock and reserved potato “chunks.” Stir carefully.
Simmer an additional 15-30 minutes or more. Flavor deepens with time. Soup thickens with time. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Adjust for thickness with stock, or for added richness use cream, milk or half-n-half.
Serve piping hot. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, bacon bits and green onion or chives. Enjoy!