Meatless Recipe #10 : Potato Cheese Soup

20150823_174955_resizedSummer is quickly leaving us. Temps are in the 80’s all this week. It’s nice and cool out. It might get as low as 58 tonight. And with all that rain we had back in the spring and summer, we are going to have a beautiful autumn this year!  And autumn means it’s time to start making soup!  I love one pot meals, like soup, and one of my favs is potato cheese soup.

Potatoes were a staple on the dinner table growing up.  We always had mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, or boiled potatoes with a meal. I love a good baked potato now and then, and will eat potatoes if they are served but I rarely cook them myself to have with a meal other than mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. If I even think of buying a whole bag of potatoes these days, I’ve got some particular meal in mind that will use most of them up like potato cheese soup.

This is a good one pot meal for those who love soup on those nice cool weekends in autumn or winter. It serves about six to eight depending on how big your bowls are and it’s super easy to make.

Here’s your grocery list:

6 large russet potatoes – peeled and cubed
1 yellow onion chopped
1 32 oz. box of vegetable broth
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 pint of heavy cream (small carton)  optional
4 cups of Mexican shredded cheese
Salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, and garlic salt

Toppings:  Sour cream, Bacos, and more shredded cheese

Start my melting half the stick of butter on low heat in a large pot. Don’t bother with a skillet. I like to cook a one pot meal in exactly that – one pot – instead of using a skillet and having to transfer things over to the pot later. Once the butter is melted, add the chopped onion and saute it for about five minutes.

Then add half the box of vegetable broth to the pot.  Follow this with all of your peeled and cubed potatoes and stir on medium heat. It won’t hurt to start seasoning it a bit with salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, and garlic salt while the potatoes are cooking.  As the mix comes to a boil, stir it and start mashing up some of the potatoes.  You can use a potato masher if you want; I just don’t like all of the potatoes to be mashed. I like the soup to be a little chunky so I usually just use a wooden spoon to break up some of the potatoes.  You can add more broth as needed if it starts to cook down.

Once the potatoes are softened and the soup is the consistency you want, turn the heat back down to low and add the rest of the broth and the other half stick of butter.  Stir until the butter is melted.  Then you are ready to start adding your cheese. You’ve probably noticed I use the Mexican shredded cheese for everything. That’s because it’s a nice mix of both yellow and white cheeses.  If you like one more than the other, then feel free to only use white or yellow shredded cheese. I like to add handfuls at a time and stir the soup until the cheese is melted.  Once all the cheese is added, start slowing pouring in your carton of cream while you are still stirring. Remember, the cream is optional and definitely adds calories to the soup, but it does give it a nice creamy texture. Season with more salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, and garlic salt if needed and you are done.

Serve the soup with Bacos, sour cream, and more shredded cheese on top.

If you serve six, each bowl is about 363 calories without the cream, and 497 calories with the cream. There’s 11 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar in this recipe (with or without the cream).   It’s also loaded in Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium.

What’s your favorite soup that you like to make during the cooler months?

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