Potato Cheddar Soup with Broccoli and Smokey Bacon

The soup of the Meows! 😛

Greetings, Mystic Meows!

Fall is finally upon us and once the temperature starts to dip, man o’ man do I ever begin to crave hearty soups and stews like crazy! Being a Latina I can eat Caldo de Pollo ( Chicken Soup ) any time of year, no matter the weather, but I was in the mood for something I haven’t made in a long time that had plenty of veggies, a nice amount of dairy, and of course… Bacon!

I feel like sometimes we forget how quick and easy it is to cook up a delicious soup in just under an hour, given that the right ingredients are on hand. Potatoes and carrots boiled take between 10 to 15 minutes depending on how small or large the dice is. Pre cooked Bacon, ham, chicken, etc make themselves shine when used like this. Soups and Stews are also a great way to use any leftovers, canned goods, and veggies that are on “the verge”. Sounds almost like a horror movie title… The VERGE! 😂 Moving on…

The Cheesy Soup of my dreams! 🤣

So here’s the thing about the way I cook. Unless I go out of my way to actually create a recipe and write down exactly how much of this or that I used, I almost always go with my gut, and measure things by eye and of course… with my heart. Also being a trained Chef has it’s advantages… It has at the very least made me confident enough to attempt pretty much anything cooking wise since that is always within my wheelhouse and at this point can say that I KNOW how to cook. And with that comes the ability to just throw something tasty together in a flash. Hence this here blog post about a potato soup I was craving for lunch! Most meows have the knack for this and I know that most of ya’ll have made a soup or two in your day. I’ll do my best to list off what I used and how it all came together based on what I had in me trusty ol’fridge and pantry. Let’s start with the root vegetables…

First I peeled 2 medium/large-ish potatoes and cut them into a small dice or cubes. I then peeled a large carrot, diced them slightly smaller than the potatoes, and added those bad boys into a medium sized pot with about 2 cups of water… I did this with the intention of adding in milk later on, so I wanted to control the thickness of the actual soup by adding more liquid as things were cooking. I also added 1/4 of an onion, diced, and one large clove of minced garlic to the pot. I had some yummy chicken bouillon cubes so I threw one of them in with the veggies and only added some fresh cracked pepper since the bouillon already has salt. And since I was going to throw in some cheese, I knew I had to scale back the amount of salt in the beginning, so I could adjust the flavors towards the end if I had to. Once you put salt in, you can’t take it out so it’s best to add it in steps along the way. That goes for anything you venture to cook! 😉

Then we have our dear friend Mr. Broccoli. Now you don’t have to do this step, but for me I find it yields a cleaner, more balanced flavor by cooking the broccoli separate from the rest of the veggie party, and then adding it right at the end. I want the broccoli to be in there, but broccoli tends to dominate aromatically if it’s cooked with everything else, and it also cooks faster than the other veggies do. I didn’t want it to be overcooked or mushy cause I love my broccoli al dente like pasta! Still has some crunch to it and that gorgeous green color! I just diced about 1 cup of the broccoli into small pieces. I also added a bit of salt to the boiling water of the broccoli. Seasoning as we go! Layering those flavors. Once that’s cooked, I drained it and set it aside… Next!

The bacon I already had cooked off from the night before’s BLT extravaganza, so using what I had left was a no brainer! This is where I get all Cheffy about it… 🤪 Once the potatoes and carrots were nice and tender, I removed half of the veggies and set them aside to hang out with Mr. Broccoli. I added in 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, and 2 slices of Kraft American Cheese singles to the remaining veggies in the pot. You do what you like with whatever cheese you wanna use, but I knew what I wanted this to taste like so in goes the cheese of my childhood! I have an immersion blender or stick blender. You can use it right in the pot you’re cooking in to puree everything together so you have a nice, velvety smooth broth. Or use a regular blender or just mash it all up with a potato masher or a fork. Just make sure the cheeses are as well incorporated as possible. This is also where you begin to adjust your seasonings and consistency of the soup. If it’s too thick, add a touch more milk. Not cheesy enough? Add more cheese, salt, pepper, etc. If it’s too thin you can make a slurry with water and cornstarch and slowly add that in until it’s the right thickness for you. Once you think you’ve got gold in a pot, add in all of the veggies you set aside, stir it all together and add that bacon right into the pot, or sprinkle the crumbles right on top. The whole process took me about 30 minutes, but that’s cause I’m a multi tasking speed demon! 😈 But trust me when I tell you, this all comes together quickly!

Try some!

And there you have it, meows! I know I was waxing poetic there for a sec, but I hope that doesn’t stop you from trying your hand at making a soup like this! The base flavor is really the cheese so add or subtract whatever you like! It’s up to you how you create your own Mystic Meals! But I gotta tell ya… This was flippin’ tasty as hell! 😋 Until we eat again… Bone crapple teef! 🤣☠️

Cheers, hugs, and meows!

xo Nikki 😻🖤✨🔮

Check out my culinary podcast on Anchor.fm! https://anchor.fm/mysticmeals13

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