It was a dark and stormy night. Cop cars suddenly converged on a house just a few doors down from me. Moments later though the mist I could see them leading a ghostly figure away in handcuffs. Apparently this person had failed to provide hot, hearty soup for their family.
Yes, some weather is so miserable that’s it’s actually a crime not to make a batch of creamy, comforting, delicious soup … don’t be that person. Poppy is here to help!
Introducing Poppy’s “Potato-Cheddar-Sausage Soup”.
In Poppy’s not-so-humble opinion, a good potato soup should be creamy yet have some chunky goodness to it. Start by peeling and dicing 6 medium to large Yukon Gold potatoes into ¼” cubes. Drop the potato cubes into 48 ozs. of low sodium chicken broth. If you’re ambitious and want to make your own broth, go for it, but that’s a topic for another day. Crank up the heat and cover your stockpot.
Take 3 stalks of celery and slice them lengthwise, then chop into ¼” thick pieces. Dice a medium-sized onion into ¼” pieces. Add the celery and onions to a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of butter and a small amount of EVOO. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, start cooking your sausage. This recipe only calls for a ½ pound of hot Italian sausage, but this sausage is usually sold in 1 pound packages … what to do?
I just cook the whole darn thing, use half for your soup, and put the remainder in the fridge for another day (pasta, breakfast casserole, frittata, queso dip, etc). Yes, I could freeze the other half and discover it months later but then I would have to thaw it, identify it, still try to figure out a use for it …blah, blah, blah … I’m not that organized.
Once the celery-onion mix is done, transfer it to the stockpot with the potatoes.
Here comes the only tricky part to this soup. We want this soup to be creamy but yet retain enough chunks of potato to be hearty. An immersion blender might be able to do some of this, but I find it less effective than transferring the soup to a blender for pureeing. The trick here is to make sure that you don’t completely fill up the blender with the hot soup mix. If you do decide to fill the blender all the way up with hot soup, make sure you have someone video taping the results, because we would all like to view the YouTube video and watch the expression on your face when the top explodes off the blender and spreads potato soup all over your kitchen … OK, we really aren’t that mean so just fill up the blender ½ to ¾ full and keep your hand on top of the blender. I usually run it from the blender up the ladder from chop>mix>puree. As soon as this batch is smooth, transfer to another bowl and repeat until about ⅔ of the soup has been pureed.
Add the pureed portion back into the simmering soup then add the sausage to the mix. Start stirring in the cheddar, then add a pinch or two of sea salt or Cajun seasoning, then a generous grind of coarse black pepper. Next add the 1/2 pint of cream, stirring until the soup is consistent in color, gently bubbling and smelling heavenly. Let simmer for 5 minutes then pair with a nice crusty loaf of warm bread.
Congratulations, you are now a “person of interest”, but for all the right reasons!
Difficulty: If you can dice potatoes without dicing fingers, you’re golden!
- 48 ozs. of low-sodium chicken broth
- 6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 3 stalks of celery
- 7-8 ozs. of grated sharp cheddar (yellow or white, both work well)
- 1/2 lb. of hot Italian sausage
- 1/2 pint of cream
- sea salt or Cajun seasoning to taste
- coarse ground black pepper to taste