Weird as it sounds, my wife has never had strep throat before. Never, that is, until this year.
She was miserable – eating anything rougher than yogurt was like swallowing nails. So, when dinner came, I put on my chef hat with a mission. I would make my wife the smoothest, tastiest cream of potato soup of my life.
Thankfully, my wife took a nap so I could hit the grocery – this soup takes quite a bit of chicken broth. However, it only takes about a half-hour to make, so it was ready by the time she woke up.
What follows is a thorough explanation of how to make the soup (with pictures!), but if you don’t have time for that, there is a TL;DR recipe at the bottom.
Quick thing: I have included affiliate links to Amazon below – it won’t affect your price to click them, but I do get a kickback. I promise that my links are only to be helpful and offer products that would be useful with the recipe.
Here is the full list of what I needed: normal-sliced bacon, an onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, the chicken broth, flour, milk, heavy cream, salt and pepper, Cajun spices, and some shredded cheddar cheese.
Making the Soup
So, start with the most important ingredient. This is, of course, the bacon.
Take six slices of the bacon and slice them into 1-inch pieces.
Put them in a soup pot on the stove and set the heat to medium. Let it go until the pieces are crispy. This might take a minute, but that’s ok – you will need that minute to do the next step.
Peel three carrots and the onion, then wash and trim three stalks of celery.
Dice all of them into little pieces.
By the way, don’t forget to stir the bacon every once in a while.
By the time you are done with your dice-fest, check on your bacon. If it is nice and crispy, put a paper towel down on a plate, then take the pieces out of the pot with a spoon and set them on it.
You’ll crumble these up later to top the soup.
Very important, though: leave the bacon grease.
Remember those veggies? Toss that pile of chopped veg into the pot, then turn up the heat to medium high. Stir it up, and let cook for 2 minutes (stir once or twice during that time).
Meanwhile, your potatoes need prepping. Take six medium-sized potatoes, and peel those things. Then, dice them up like you did for the veggies.
Don’t panic if your 2-minute alarm goes off. Stir the veggies up and keep chopping those taters.
As close as you can to that time, add the diced potatoes to the pot, put the lid on, give it a good stir, and cook for 5 minutes. Again, give the mix a good stir a few times in the middle of that.
Now, add a half teaspoon each of salt and the Cajun seasoning, and black pepper to taste. Don’t worry about not putting enough in – you’ll be able to taste the soup and add more later.
For now, add a good 8 cups of chicken broth. Yes, I know this is a lot of chicken broth – it’s about two of those cardboard cartons’ worth.
Give it a good stir, then bring it all to a gentle boil. Let that go for 10 minutes (stirring occasionally), or until potatoes are tender.
By the way, if you’ve never done that before, here’s how: get a fork, then fish out a bigger-size potato chunk. If you can push the fork through it really easily, it’s done.
Now, get a bowl out, and pour in a cup of milk and 3 tablespoons of flour. Whisk that together until it’s nice and smooth, then add it into the pot.
Let it simmer for 5 more minutes.
Now, if you have been thinking so far “this is actually a really lumpy soup, dude…” then relax. This is when the smoothing-out happens.
So, there are two ways to do this. Both work, but one way is much easier than the other.
Let’s start with the longer way. First, turn down the heat to low. Then, whether by scooping or pouring, take about 2/3 or so of the soup out of the pot and put it in another bowl.
Be super careful when you’re doing this – that stuff is really hot.
Set that bowl away from the stove and let it cool off for a while.
Then, get out a blender. I’m talking one of the normal, top-filling, smoothie-shack kinds, by the way, not a bullet blender (if you don’t have one, click on the image, there – it will take you to one on Amazon). That is because you are going to take all that soup you just removed and, in batches, puree it.
Make sure you cool the soup, by the way. Blenders aren’t made for high temperatures.
Anyway, get the soup nice and blended, then pour the blended soup back into the pot.
Or, there’s the shorter way. Get yourself an immersion blender. This is also called a stick blender. If you’ve never gotten one, this is a great time to add it to your collection (clicking the image here will take you to a good-looking one on Amazon, but it seriously makes this way, way quicker.
You just put the blender end in the soup, squeeze the button, and move it around until the soup is as smooth as you like.
No removing and cooling most of the soup. No pouring into bowls and blenders and back into the pot. Seriously, get a stick blender – it’s way easier.
Anyway, whichever way you take, once your soup is blended, pour in a half cup of heavy cream, and stir it up. Turn the heat back up to medium.
While that is starting to heat is when you taste the soup and add more salt or pepper if you want. I just stir it up then swipe a (clean) finger down the back of the spoon to taste.
We like a little extra pepper but season to your tastes.
Serving the Soup
Finally, you can serve the bowls of soup topped with the shredded cheese and crumbled-up bacon bits (although no bacon bits for my wife during her strep incident).
After that, this has become one of our most-loved soups during the winter, and makes plenty for a few more lunches through the week.
Recipe: The Smoothest Cream of Potato Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 6 thin slices of bacon, cut into inch-long pieces
- 1 whole medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 whole carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- Black pepper to taste
- Shredded cheddar cheese for topping
- Cook bacon pieces (6 slices, cut into 1-inch pieces) in soup pot over medium heat until crispy.
- While bacon is cooking, dice the onion (1 whole, medium yellow), peel and dice carrots (3), and wash and dice celery (3 stalks).
- When bacon is cooked, remove pieces with a spoon and place on paper-towel-covered plate, leaving the grease in the pot.
- Add the diced onion, carrot, and celery to the pot.
- Turn heat to medium-high. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While veggies cook, peel and dice potatoes (6 medium spuds).
- Add potatoes to pot, cover, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt (1/2 teaspoon), pepper (to taste), and Cajun seasoning (1/2 teaspoon), then add broth (8 cups).
- Bring to a gentle boil, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk (1 cup) and flour (3 tablespoons), then add to the soup.
- Cook 5 more minutes.
- Blend soup smooth by one of two methods.
- If you have an immersion blender, use this to blend the soup until desired smoothness is achieved.
- If you instead have a conventional blender, reduce heat to low, remove 2/3 to 3/4 of the soup into a separate bowl, then let cool. In batches, add to blender, puree smooth, then pour smoothed soup back into the pot. Stir.
- Stir in heavy cream (1/2 cup), then turn heat back to medium.
- As soup reheats, taste and season with more salt and pepper to taste as needed.
- Serve sprinkled with cheese and crumbled bacon pieces reserved from step 3.