Cheesy Potato Soup

Potato soup is one of my favorite foods, summer or winter.  It’s also one dish that I just can’t help but mess with because there are so many great variations.  This is the first time I tried this particular combination and it was a huge hit!  The cheese gives it added richness and flavor and the cumin, chiles and cilantro lend just a hint of southwestern flair.  Feel free to play with the texture to suit your tastes, it can be chunky or smooth, thick or thin.  It’s up to you.

And now…I’m off to do extra yoga to work off some of those potatoes.  So worth it!

Cheesy Potato Soup

Cheesy Potato Soup

8 medium russet potatoes
2 leeks, sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 8 oz. can diced green chiles
2-3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 strips crispy cooked bacon, crunched up into bacon bits (for garnish, optional)

Peel and quarter potatoes, cover with water and boil until fork tender.  Drain off the water (or most of it).  While potatoes are cooking, saute leeks and onions in butter in a separate pan.  When onions and leeks are tender, put in a blender with a little chicken broth and puree.  Add to drained potatoes, along with diced green chiles, 2 cups chicken broth and cream.  Using an immersion blender or a potato masher, mash up the potato chunks, leaving some bigger pieces (if you like it totally smooth, puree to your heart’s content, but I prefer a slightly chunky texture).  Add more chicken broth if you want a thinner texture (I used three cups of broth in mine). Add salt, pepper & cumin.  Heat until just barely boiling.  Turn heat off and stir in cheese until melted.  Serve hot, topped with fresh cilantro and bacon if desired.

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