I woke up this morning, and it is summer on Hoth. So, it’s time for soup.
This soup is warm, filling, and filled with the smoky goodness of bacon and the tang of extra-sharp cheddar.
A healthy soup this is not, although it avoids the heavy doses of milk and cream that most of these types of soups do. The thickness mostly comes from the potatoes themselves. It’s my attempt at making this as healthy as can be.
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed.
- 3 slices thick bacon, chopped
- 2 slices thick bacon, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 4 ounces sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Take approximately one fourth of them and finely mince them. A good processor is ideal for this, or you can practice your knife skills.
- Add the 3 slices of chopped bacon to a large dutch oven and cook over medium heat until the bacon is cooked but not crispy and starts to give off some fat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened.
- Add the minced potatoes and the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then allow this to cook on a medium boil until the potatoes are soft and falling apart, approximately 20-30 minutes. You want them to dissolve and thicken the soup.
- In the meantime, add the 2 slices finely chopped bacon to a pan and cook until it is just barely crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve for a garnish. (Save the bacon fat for another recipe.) If you didn’t use a non-stick pan, and there is some fond on the bottom of the pan, add 1/4 water, bring to a boil, and scrape up the fond. Add the water to the pot with the potatoes.
- When the minced potatoes are cooked through, and the cubed potatoes and the additional two cups of water. Bring it back to boil, and then turn it down and let it simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, approximately 30 minutes.
- Turn the heat to a low simmer, and add the cheese and stir until melted. Do not allow the soup to boil once you’ve added the cheese. Adjust the seasoning. This probably won’t need any extra salt because of the bacon and cheese, but black pepper is a welcome addition.
- Serve in bowls and top with the reserved crispy bacon bits as a garnish.
This is not a super creamy soup. If you want a creamier soup, you have some options:
- Puree part of the soup in a blender, or use a couple of quick pulses from a stick blender. This method has the added advantage of not adding any additional calories to the soup.
- Add an additional four ounces of shredded cheese to the soup.
- Add a roux made up of four ounces of butter (1/2 stick) and 1/4 cup flour.
Thanks to this post from Rachel Ray, I now have a way to way to calculate nutrition information based on ingredients, using this page from Verywell. (This is not an endorsement, as I haven’t had time to look at their site.)
Keep in mind that all the information below is based on this recipe yielding eight servings of this soup. If you go back for seconds, double that.
Here’s the nutrition information for the original version of this soup, as well as option 1, above:
And here’s the nutrition information for option 2, with all the extra cheese:
This is the nutrition information for option 3 with the additional roux:
And if you add all the extra cheese and the roux, your nutrition information looks like this: