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Thick & Hearty Potato Soup

8 baking potatoes, peeled and diced into small chunks
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 c. diced ham {optional}
2 c. chicken stock
2 c. water
1 T. chicken bouillon
1 T. dried onion flakes
1 t. pepper
5 T. flour
5 T. butter
2 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

In a large stockpot combine potatoes, carrots, ham, chicken stock, water and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until potatoes and carrots are fork tender. With a potato masher, give the pot a few good mashes - this will help to break up some of the potatoes and thicken the soup.

In a saucepan melt butter. Sift in flour and whisk to combine. Cook on medium heat until bubbly and flour has cooked through, around 3-4 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk, season with pepper and dried onion. Continue stirring on medium heat, until milk starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Once thick, add in cheese. Stir to combine.

Pour cheese sauce into stockpot and stir to combine. Taste test to see if seasonings need adjusted. Eat immediately or let cool and refrigerate. Will keep for up to a week in the fridge.