My mom used to make a version of this soup when I was growing up but one of my sister didn’t like cheese soups (yea, I don’t know what is wrong with her either!) and my mom rarely made it with cheese. Over the years I have crafted my own version and I think I might like it better. Don’t tell her that though! I used the 2nd portion of leftover Easter ham in this recipe.
Potato and Cheese Soup
*half a bag of frozen diced potatoes (or cut up several golden potatoes or whatever you have on hand- cutting veggies and such is hard for me with my RA so I pick pre-cut over having to cut them myself a lot of the time)
*half a bag of baby carrots chopped
*4-5 ribs of celery diced
*half an onion diced
*package of diced ham (or leftovers)
*water or stock/broth- about 3-4 cups
*equal parts flour and butter to make the cheese sauce (known in the culinary world as making a roux- pronounced “roo”)
*small brick of Velveta cheese cut into cubes (or store brand if you happen to find one- if they small brick isn’t available just use half of the large one)
*diced garlic, salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large soup or stock pot combine the first 6 ingredients and start a low boil.
2. In another pan (I use my large skillet for this) put in about 4 tablespoons of butter. One spoon at a time add the flour and KEEP STIRRING. Add the cheese cubes in a handful at a time while stirring. You want it to start to look like a creamy cheese sauce (for the culinary inclined think bechamel sauce). The roux and the cheese will start to become cakey and kind of pasty as some point- when this happens add in some milk. Usually about 1/3 – 1/2 cup is enough to get things smoothed out again. Keep adding cheese and milk like this. KEEP STIRRING. Once all the cheese is added and the sauce is smooth instead of lumpy pour into the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Either serve immediately or freeze. I like to freeze any leftovers for a quick lunch or dinner on another night! The leftovers taste just as good, if not better.
I don’t have a video of me making the soup since my hands are way too busy with that cheese sauce so I looked up some roux videos on YouTube. Sounds intimidating but is super easy- I promise!