Easy Cheesy Potato Soup is comfort food at it’s best! It’s a smooth, creamy, cheesy soup that will fill you up and warm you up on rainy or snowy cold days! It is the perfect soup for fall or winter!
This recipe is everything that heaven in bowl of soup should be. Most of the time when I make this soup I double the recipe below which makes about 6 quarts of soup…that is a lot of soup! But if you double it, it is perfect for a big family party, potluck, church party, or you can share it with your neighbor….or keep it for yourself and eat it all week! NOTE: the photos below show the recipe doubled. The best thing about this recipe is you don’t have to spend time peeling, dicing and cutting potatoes-it uses frozen hash brown potatoes! Simple and easy!
The Soup Base for Cheesy Potato Soup
This recipe does take a bit of time. You will start out making a basic roux with your pound of butter (you health conscious people are cringing at that I know), some dried minced onions and flour. Melt your butter over medium heat. Whisk as the butter melts, making sure the flour and minced onions are mixed in well.
It will be like a thick paste. You will let this cook for a good 5-8 minutes to cook out the flour. See the picture below, you will notice, the roux is thick. When you stir it, the roux sticks to the whisk and you can see the bottom of the pot where you just whisked it. This is how you know it is close to being done. You can also smell the butter and flour cooking out (I have no other way to describe it but I promise you can smell it). If you are still in doubt, take a taste and it should be thick tasting but not really floury.
Next, you will add in your half gallon of milk (2% works fine but stay away from 1% and skim…that is just way too healthy…but seriously it won’t turn out as good).
Add the milk and let it thicken on med-low (a 4 on my stovetop) and go about your day. This is not something you have to babysit. It just needs a quick stir (wire whisk works best) every now and then so it doesn’t stick to the bottom as it heats. As you stir it and it starts to heat, you will feel it thickening. Keep stirring it occasionally and go about your laundry and toilet scrubbing! Mine usually thickens for a good half hour to 1 hour, seems like forever….it will thicken I promise! (If you turn the heat up you run the risk of the milk curdling…so keep it low and slow!)
After it has thickened, add in your chicken base or chicken bouillon, salt and then your cheese, stirring until it is all melted. You can add more or less of the cheese, salt or bouillon. This is the Chicken Base I LOVE! the flavor is so yummy!
The Potatoes for Cheesy Potato Soup
My secret for simple Easy Cheesy Potato Soup is that I use a bag of frozen hash browns (the cubed southern style of course…nobody wants shredded potatoes in their soup). Just make sure you don’t get the bag with peppers and onions…that would be gross! You can thank me for this fast little tip…no peeling, cubing and cooking potatoes…if doing all of that extra work is your jam, then go right ahead…for this one I am all about the ease…and they never turn out mushy. I leave the bag out on the counter the entire time I am making the soup, so by the time you add them, they are perfectly thawed. For this recipe you need half the bag (about 3 cups) of hash browns. If you double it, add the entire bag. They will warm up in the soup and be perfect.
Back to cooking….You will need a big spoon at this point because the potatoes will get stuck in your whisk. If it is too thick for your liking, add a little more milk. Stir it up, add more seasoning as needed, or cheese (no judgment from me because I always add more to my own bowl).
What to eat with the Cheesy Potato Soup
I also love to add some extra cheese to my bowl and if I have some crispy crumbled bacon and chopped green onions it makes it even more delicious!
Easy Cheesy Potato Soup is comfort food at it’s best! Smooth, creamy, cheesy soup that will fill you up and warm you up on rainy or snowy cold days! It is the perfect soup for fall or winter!
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Cheesy Potato Soup
- 1/2 pound butter (2 sticks) *salted or unsalted, it doesn't matter
- 1/2 heaping tbsp dried minced onions
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 gallon whole milk *2% works fine too
- 1/2 bag (32 oz) frozen cubed hash browns (about 3 cups) *thawed
- 1/2 to 1 lb medium cheddar cheese, shredded *or more to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp chicken base *see notes
- 1/2 to 1 tsp salt *or more to taste
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. (This makes about 3 quarts of soup so make sure your pot is big enough). As the butter melts add in the dried onions and flour. Whisk together as the butter melts. (Tip: take your potatoes out of the freezer and let them thaw on your countertop.)
- Let the roux cook, stirring/whisking almost constantly. It should be like a semi-thick paste, not super runny. You will need to cook it about 5-8 minutes to make sure the flour cooks out.
- Once it has cooked long enough, add in the milk, slowly adding it as you wisk it into the roux. Turn the heat down to medium-low. It is a 3-4 on my stovetop.
- Stir occasionaly, and let it slowly heat up and thicken. It takes mine about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Once it's thickened, add in the chicken base, salt and stir. You can add in more seasoning to taste.
- Next, add your cheese, letting it melt completely. Add your thawed potatoes/hash browns. Grab a spoon to stir this in, the potatoes will get stuck in your whisk. Let the potatoes/hash browns heat in the soup until fully cooked and soft.
- Add more seasoning or cheese as needed. Then enjoy! You can also add green onions or bacon for a loaded cheesy potato soup!
- This soup will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge. When reheated, it may need to be thinned out with a little milk.