A few simple ingredients make a sumptuous soup. Be sure to use a high-quality cheddar; it's crucial to the dish's flavor. Choose a yellow cheese for the richest color. For a chunkier soup, skip the pureeing and just break up some of the potato with a spoon.
Warming Soup Recipes
1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, chopped
3 pounds baking potatoes (about 6), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped chives or scallion tops
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat or, if you don't have 2 tablespoons, add enough cooking oil to make up the amount. Reduce the heat to moderately low.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove half the soup from the pan and puree in a food processor. Alternatively, mash some of the potatoes with a potato masher. Return the puree to the pan. Over low heat, add the cheese and stir until melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Taste the soup and add more salt if needed. Serve the soup topped with the bacon and chives.
Boiling potatoes have less starch than baking, or Idaho, potatoes and consequentially hold together better when boiled. This is why they're often used in soups and for potato salads. Not in this soup, though. Since we want some of the potato to break down into smaller pieces and thicken the soup, baking potatoes are the perfect choice.
Serve a Washington State Merlot with this rich and smoky soup. Merlots from Washington's Columbia and Yakima Valleys are a bit more restrained than their brethren from California and have a distinct mineral undercurrent that makes them a natural here.
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Review Body: The recipe is good. It feels light in the stomach, leaves me still wanting a bit more meat. I contemplated adding some pork dumplings. I think what would have brought it home is some cream or frying up some flour as a thickener. I like chowder so I would think adding a bit of both would have improved it for me.
I like that the recipe calls for relatively few ingredients. I didn't add all the bacon, saved 4 slices (bought thick sliced, takes up less space on the cookie sheet) for a sandwich. cooked it on a cookie sheet in oven on some foil for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. I've cooked bacon in a sauce pan before and it doesn't turn out well. the bacon on the bottom will cook faster and sear, while the bacon on the top just kinda gets steamed until enough oil is rendered to fry all of the bacon. But by then the bottom will be crispy and the top will just be beginning to cook. If I was eating bacon on its own I prefer cast iron so that the red bits are crispy and bits of the fat still have some chew, but for going into soup I think the oven is simpler. I also added 1/2 cup white wine and added all of the bacon fat to make it more filling. All in all its tasty and I'll make it again.
Made the mistake of not sampling the potatoes when I added the cheese. My potatoes were mostly cooked but not fully. Generally you don't want to keep cooking for too long after adding cheese but I kind had too. Didn't get much separation and it turned out fine. I mashed mine only because I couldn't find the blender container.