A cooking and baking journal

Mary's Potato and Cheese Soup

4/27/11:  Potato and Cheese Soup

My recipe searching usually ventures down one of three roads: internet, magazine, or cookbook. AllRecipes.com, sure. TastyKitchen.com, been there. Cook's Country magazine, yep. And we mustn't forget our dear Betty Crocker cookbook.

So where did the Potato and Cheese Soup recipe come from? I am happy to report that it didn't come via the sources above. It came from Mary H. from California (the Quilting Bibliophagist), who is my sewing/quilting buddy. Whenever either of us have a sewing or quilting related question, we email each other for advice. One of my emails strayed off into the realm of cooking and I asked her if she had any good, easy, and quick recipes she could share. And that is how the Potato and Cheese Soup was found! Here it is:

Potato Cheese Soup

  • 8 cups of peeled and sliced potatoes 
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 10 sprigs parsley
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons butter or margarine 
  • 1/4 teaspoons pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 pinches of garlic powder

Cook the potatoes in the water with the salt until tender. While the potatoes cook, saute the onions in the oil until soft. (I use a nonstick frying pan. If you're using a regular pan, you might have to use a little more oil.) When the potatoes are done, puree the potatoes, onion, and parsley in a blender. If you wish, you may leave some of the cooked potatoes un-pureed.

Be careful. Do not fill the blender more than half full at a time. You must also use a blender which has a glass container, not a plastic one, to puree the hot soup. If you run out of cooking water while pureeing your batches of soup, just add a little of the pre-measured milk. If you do not have a blender, you will need to chop the onions instead of just slicing them, and you will need to finely chop the parsley and either mash the potatoes or run them through a food mill. This all takes more time which is why I love using the blender.

Return the potato puree to the pot. Add milk, pepper, garlic powder, and butter. Stir. Add cheese. Heat and stir over a very low flame just until the cheese melts. Caution: High heat will cause the cheese to become a rubbery mass. Check the seasonings and adjust if necessary. (A thick pan is ideal for soups like this. I have a soup pot that is made of porcelain covered cast iron which I love. It's also great for rice or beans.)

If you need to prepare this soup very quickly, wash your parsley and slice your onions the night before and store them in the refrigerator in a tightly-covered container or zip lock bag. Peel and slice your potatoes and store them in the 'fridge covered with the water so they don't turn grey.

I like to serve this with cornbread or whole wheat Irish Soda Bread. Or just regular whole wheat bread. Adding a salad to the meal makes a little more well rounded nutritionally, though my husband was perfectly happy just with soup and bread. And potatoes are very nutritious anyway. Serves 5-7.


I tried to stay true the recipe as well as I could. The only thing I changed was using dried parsley instead of fresh. So this is how the kitchen time unfolded:

I cleaned the potatoes:

Peeled them:

Measured the amount of potatoes by using my large, 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup. No home should be without it. :)

Placed the potatoes into our 6 quart pot. (Oh, by the way, I doubled the recipe. That's the reason for all the potatoes! I had freezing leftovers in mind.)

While the potatoes were coming to a boil, I sliced the onions thin:

Pureed everything together and then added the milk, cheese, and seasonings:

The end result was a creamy, flavorful bowl of soup that everyone loved--even the soup haters. Yay!

And because bread and soup is like Astaire and Rogers, I made some biscuits using my tried and true recipe.

Even though I made this soup way back in April, I wanted to say a thank you to Mary for sharing this recipe with me. I will be making more once our new red potatoes are ready to harvest, which is not too far from now come to think of it. There is only a few weeks between the time our potatoes from the previous year are spent and the time we harvest the new crop. But how long those weeks seem!

What about you? What is your favorite potato recipe of all time? How about soup? Send some recipes to me at herlittleway at gmail dot com.

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