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Cheese Potato Soup

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I found various versions of this wonderful soup, but none quite hit the spot. I make mine in a large enameled cast iron pot. To make things easier, I use pre-cooked bacon that can be crisped in the microwave. Adding the hot sauce is important for the soup flavor - this will not make the soup too spicy!

The Ingredients

Preparation

Wash the potatoes in cold water. Peel the potatoes to remove any blemishes. You don't have to remove all the skin, just clean them up a bit. Dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Cheese Potato Soup topped with shredded cheddar & baconPlace them into a pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and let them cook for 6-9 minutes. This time may vary, test the potatoes - they should be cooked but not falling apart. Remove the potatoes from the heat and set aside

Melt the butter in a heavy dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the flour to the pan and stir using a large wooden spoon or whisk. Continue to cook the butter and flour to form a roux. Cook it just long enough to eliminate the "flour" taste, but do not allow it to brown to much. Slowly add a small amount of the milk and whisk to incorporate. Add the rest of the milk and continue to stir. Add the cream next, and continue to heat through. As the liquid continues to cook, it will begin to thicken (about 20 minutes).

Cut the Velveeta into cubes and add a little at a time to the milk mixture. Continue to stir as the cheese melts. After the cheese has been incorporated, add 1 cup of the shredded cheese, the salt, pepper, garlic powder, & the hot sauce. Continue to stir to melt the shredded cheese. Taste the sauce at this point to determine if you need additional salt.

Drain the potatoes and add to the cheese mixture. Continue to cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring as needed

Fill bowls with the soup and top with the shredded cheese and bacon. Soups on!

This soup reheats very well. I have found that the starch in the potato will actually thicken the soup as it cools. In my case, I added at least a 1/2 cup of milk to thin the soup a little before storing it (you may have to add even more!).