Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent. Today and every Friday between now and Easter, Catholics will abstain from meat. I wanted to start things off with a big bowl of soup this time of year, there is nothing better than a hot bowl of soup. Well unless it’s a hot bowl of soup that is on the table on a weeknight and in under an hour, in fact barely over 30 minutes. The recipe base recipe I used came from Cooking Light, back in March 2015, and it jumped out to me right away for all the reasons I listed above. I’m often blown away by the ideas I get from Cooking Light for flavorful meals that are relatively healthy, or light as the magazine’s name would imply. Relatively may also have something to do with our disagreement on portion size – 1 cup serving, not thanks, I’d like a bowlful please! This creamy potato soup with white cheddar, literally called to me when I read it.
The soup was everything it promised to be, creamy, a little bit cheesy but not too rich, and so very satisfying on a winter night.
Here’s what you need:
The recipe uses shallots (instead of onion) and garlic as aromatics. The shallots are a little garlicky themselves and give more flavor than just a plain onion would have. Chop these both up very fine.
Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add a little bit of oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for a minute or two under soft and tender and just starting to brown a little.
Sprinkle a little flour over the pan and cook stirring constantly for about a minute. Then pour in the milk.
And some chicken broth.
Finally, add the potatoes – if you didn’t notice in the ingredient pictures, I used Yukon gold potatoes because I like them and they are creamy and starchy enough to puree easily later on. A red potato is too waxy and will add a waxy element to the soup, not the same smooth and creamy texture we’re going for. I didn’t show a really good picture of the potatoes, but you want to chop up relatively small, about a half inch so they cook quickly. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring mixture to a simmer and simmer gently for 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Remove from heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender if you have one, otherwise a potato masher will work as will a blender.
Off the heat, stir in some white cheddar cheese.
And a little bit of sour cream.
Serve the soup with a tab of sour cream and a few snips of fresh chive (I literally mean ‘snips’ as I cut them with my herb scissors).
Oh and I may have thrown in some leftover bacon I had in the fridge in one of the bowls of leftovers I had which only made this yummy soup that much better. Just leave the bacon out if it’s Friday.
- 1 T canola oil
- ⅔ c shallot, minced (about 2)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T flour
- 3 ½ c Yukon gold potatoes, about 4, chopped
- 2 c 1% milk
- 14.5 oz can chicken broth
- Pinch kosher salt
- ¼ t fresh ground black pepper
- ½ c sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 T sour cream, plus more for serving
- 2 T fresh chives
- Crumbled bacon, optional
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil. Cook shallots and garlic in oil until just beginning to brown, about 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook another minute, stirring constantly.
- Add potatoes, milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Remove pan from heat and puree mixture using an immersion blender.
- Stir in cheese until melted and incorporated into soup. Stir in the sour cream.
- Spoon into bowls. Garnish with chives, sour cream and bacon.