I made this soup once long ago. It was great except for one thing: Velveeta. Blech. It was novel as a child but aside from the horrid ingredient list, it wasn't incredibly palatable. I mean, it wiggles. The one thing it excels at though is being creamy. The stuff doesn't break like regular cheese and roux does. So the soup was nice and creamy and not grainy like my old favorite cheddar chowder recipe. And the velveeta flavor mellowed out the next day so leftovers were even better. But I haven't made it in years because the processed cheese is not an okay ingredient for us. Until...
Thank you America's Test Kitchen for showing us how to make processed cheese at home! It's just cheddar cheese, milk, gelatin, milk powder and a pinch of tartar. It whips up in less than 10 minutes and I will happily make it again and again for this soup. And the only flavor that comes through is wonderful, creamy cheddar. Or whatever cheese you choose to process! I will probably be making batches for my friend's favorite queso salsa dip as well. I used the powdered goat milk I have as it is the most readily accessible whole milk powder - don't use nonfat, it will add an off flavor. Mine looked just like the picture in the processor; it sets up fast so get it in your mini loaf pan quickly.
This is a nice, homey, and very filling soup that comes together in 30-40 minutes if you have the cheese in the fridge already. The girls and hubby made happy noises as they ate it and the hubby actually took leftovers to work! There are very few things he is willing to take as leftovers. Win.
Cheesy Potato Soup
5 cups chopped potatoes
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
¼ cup light spelt flour or all purpose
2 cups whole milk, divided
1 recipe homemade processed cheddar cheese, cubed (about 1 pound)
12 oz. good bacon, chopped
In a dutch oven, brown the chopped bacon over medium high heat until lightly crispy. Remove and set aside. Drain all but a teaspoon of the bacon fat and save for another purpose or discard. Saute the vegetables in the remaining fat for a few minutes until beginning to soften. Add stock, parsley, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until potatoes are tender.
In a small bowl, combine the flour and ¼ cup of the milk until smooth. Add to soup and cook and stir until thickened, one or two minutes. Stir in the cheese until melted and add remaining milk.
When cheese is melted, add bacon and heat through.
Good as a side soup or main meal.
Adapted from TOH's Golden Potato Soup