Recipe - Cheesy Potato Soup

I am not a soup person. Well, let me clarify that. I am a lover of noodle soups (which is very big in the Vietnamese culture), but I am not generally a fan of soupy soups. You know, the kinds you find in cans in the grocery stores...not my thing. I want body and texture to my soups, not the watery bleh-ness that makes me think I’m eating a bowl of savoury tea.

That being said, the boyfriend loves soup. He could eat soup morning, noon and night and be happy as a clam. I think I found a solution to the great soup divide, and it all came about because I had a bunch of potatoes and carrots that needed to be used, and used in mass quantities. This soup has the substance I need with its chunks of vegetables and potatoes, as well as the warm comfort that the boyfriend likes from a hearty bowl of old fashioned soup. I like the simplicity of this recipe that yields such a deep flavour, from hardly any work at all. In fact, the basic ingredients when combined in this bowl of awesome, all lend such distinct flavours that it tastes much more complicated than it really is. Just be prepared for a lot of chopping (I hate chopping).
 Cheesy Potato Soup

2 Tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 6 large)
4 Cups, chicken broth (low sodium)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 Cups, milk
2 Cups, grated cheddar cheese + more for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
*Optional: chilli powder and garlic powder

1.       Heat oil in large soup pot and cook onions and carrots until softened.
2.       Add potato and chicken stock (should be enough stock to cover everything, if not, add more or water).
3.       Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are tender, approx. 20-25 minutes.
4.       In separate pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once melted, add flour to form a roux, whisking to combine. Cook for about a minute.
5.       Add milk to roux slowly, whisking constantly to smooth out any lumps. Continue to heat while whisking until mixture thickens, approx. 5 minutes. (If mixture does not thicken, add a bit more flour).
6.       Once it reaches the desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in grated cheese until creamy and smooth.
7.       When potatoes are tender, pour the cheese mixture into the soup pot, stirring well to combine. Heat to simmer and cook until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. (For an extra kick, add chilli powder).
8.       Sprinkle extra grated cheese on top and serve with crusty bread.

Makes 6 large servings. Freezes well.


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