Potato Soup with Add-ins
Why I Love This Recipe
We love soup at our house and there will be several more highlighted as part of this series. Even on the hottest Southern California days we will sometimes have soup for dinner, as odd as it might sound.
This potato soup started with a recipe from our close friends of Irish descent, but I have fiddled with it for years, creating this somewhat "final" recipe. My family likes potato soup a bit chunky, so I have to be careful to not overcook the potatoes, so there are still bite-sized pieces of potato in the completed dish.
This soup is great for using up leftovers, too. The ham can come from an Easter or Christmas ham, and the potatoes are often leftovers from other big meals. If you want to add a special kick, toss in the leftover mashed potatoes from last night's dinner. While I like meaty add-ins, there is nothing to say you can't use your favorite veggies and greens to kick it up a notch.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 large onion
Bacon or bacon bits or oil
4 large potatoes
2 quarts chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp dried parsley
2-3 grinds of black pepper
Salt to taste
1/8 lb pre-cooked ham or 3 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Finely chop onion and carrot (I use food processor for this as I like the pieces very small)
If using bacon strips, dice the bacon and then fry in soup pot until crisp
If using bacon bits, simply heat them through (you may need to add some oil, as bacon bits will have less fat)
Add carrots and onions and sauté them until just starting to brown
Chop potatoes into 1/2" dice
Add potatoes to pot and cool for 4-5 mins with onions and carrots
Add chicken stock and bring pot to boil. Then lower to simmer.
Add thyme, parsley pepper and salt to taste
Cool until potatoes are just soft
Use spoon of potato masher to break up potatoes but not entirely. Make as smooth or chunky as you like.
Once finished, Take off heat and add in your favorite Add-ins
Add ham, crisp bacon, smoked sausage, kale, vegetables, whatever you like.
Add cheddar cheese
Add splash of milk or cream