Potato Cheese Soup

5 from 5 votes
45 minutes
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Potato Cheese Soup is cozy comfort food at its best! Smokey bacon and sharp cheddar cheese meld perfectly with the creamy potatoes in this hearty soup, which comes together in just one pot. Serve as a main dish with some crusty bread, these fun Quinoa Parmesan Crisps, or on the side with Chicken Sloppy Joes!

“Just wow!! So rich and flavorful!”

Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup in large white soup mug with spoon garnished with bacon, scallions and cheese shreds.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

When the weather turns chilly, nothing beats a cozy bowl of soup to warm everyone up! This potato cheese soup recipe is the ultimate comfort food; it’s easy to make and rich in flavor.

Smokey bacon brings a savory depth to this soup, which perfectly compliments the mild and creamy Russet potatoes. White wine or beer adds just the right amount of acidity, which not only balances out the other rich flavors but is also necessary to melt the sharp Cheddar cheese. Finally, this dish is finished with fresh scallions for a touch of oniony flavor.

This Potato Cheese Soup is a satisfying, standalone main meal. Serve it alongside some crusty bread for an excellent cold-weather dinner. This soup comes together quickly in one pot and also reheats beautifully for a soup that you can enjoy throughout the week!

This Cheddar Potato Soup recipe is:

  • Delicious! 
  • Easy! This potato cheese soup recipe comes together in just one pot!
  • Hearty! Potatoes, bacon, and cheese make this soup filling and satisfying!

Let’s make it!

Two large soup mugs of Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup garnished with bacon and scallion.

How to Make Potato Cheese Soup:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this cheese potato soup recipe, along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Bacon: You can substitute turkey, beef, or soy bacon if you don’t consume pork.
  • Potatoes: Russets work well in a potato cheese soup like this because of their starchy nature, which helps thicken the soup because they break down a little, adding to the comforting texture. However, you can also use Yukon Gold or red potatoes.
  • Wine/Beer: A small amount of acid in the form of alcohol helps melt the cheese. NON-ALCOHOLIC SUBSTITUTION: Use ½ cup broth with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar added.
  • Chicken Broth: You can also use vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.
  • Cheddar Cheese: I like sharp Cheddar cheese for this potato cheese soup recipe because it adds an extra punch of flavor. Be sure to shred the cheese yourself from a block, as it will melt better than pre-shredded bagged cheese. Bagged pre-shredded cheese has additives that can make melting difficult.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients. Cut the potatoes into approximately 1/2-inch cubes. Cover with water to keep them from discoloring.
Cubed potatoes in glass bowl.
  • Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven or another heavy soup pot over medium heat until browned and crispy.
  • Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the fat in the pan.
Browned bacon in blue Dutch oven.
  • Add the butter and onion and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, or until the onion is softened but not browned. (It will pick up some color from the bacon fond.)
  • Add the wine or beer if using. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Place the flour in a bowl. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid from the pot and whisk it into the flour. Add small amounts of cooking liquid as needed to make a smooth slurry.
  • Stir the cream (or half-and-half) into the slurry, then pour it into the pot.
  • Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until the soup thickens.
  • Reduce heat to low and gradually stir the shredded cheese by the handful (do not boil) into the soup.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup in blue Dutch oven.
  • Stir in half the bacon.
Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup with bacon sprinkled over the top.
  • Serve in bowls garnished with the remaining bacon, sliced scallion, and additional shredded Cheddar cheese if desired.
Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup in blue Dutch oven with soup ladle and cheese, scallion and bacon scattered about.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • Not only does sauteeing the bacon in the same Dutch oven save on dishes, but it also creates what is called a fond. A fond refers to the bits that stick to the bottom of the pot and caramelize, developing a rich flavor. Stir and release these bits from the bottom when cooking the onions and adding the liquids. They will add more flavor to the soup!
  • The process of thickening this potato cheese soup is essential because just adding flour to the soup will result in lumps. First, place the flour in a small bowl. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid from the pot and whisk it into the flour. Add small amounts of cooking liquid as needed to make a smooth slurry. Stir the cream (or half-and-half) into the slurry, which helps to temper it so it doesn’t curdle, then pour it into the pot.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to use sharp cheddar cheese in this bacon potato cheese soup recipe?

Sharp cheddar cheese is more flavorful because it was aged longer than mild. That being said, other types of cheddar cheese, such as white cheddar, will also work fine. Gouda is also a good option.

Does Potato Cheese Soup make good leftovers?

Yes! In fact, I noticed it tasted better after sitting for 24 hours, which is what happens with many soups and stews because the flavors meld. This cheese potato soup recipe reheats beautifully on the stovetop or microwave and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Can Cheese Bacon and Potato Soup be frozen?

Potato soups do not tend to freeze well. After freezing and thawing, the potato texture can become grainy, and dairy-based soups can separate. Potato soups are best enjoyed immediately or reheated after being stored in the fridge.

Two large soup mugs of Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup garnished with bacon, scallion and Cheddar cheese.

Storage:

  • Refrigerate any leftovers of Bacon Cheddar Potato Soup and consume them within five days. 

Serve with:

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Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup in large white soup mug with spoon garnished with bacon, scallions and cheese shreds.

Potato Cheese Soup

5 from 5 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Potato Cheese Soup is cozy comfort food at its best! Smokey bacon and sharp cheddar cheese meld perfectly with the creamy potatoes in this hearty soup, which comes together in just one pot.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 578 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 slices bacon - chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes - peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine - or beer
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream - or half-and-half
  • 4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese - packed
  • 4 thin scallions - sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven or another heavy soup pot over medium heat until browned and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the fat in the pan.
  • Add the butter, then the onion and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, or until the onion is softened but not browned.
  • Add the wine or beer if using. Bring to a boil and cook 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Place the flour in a bowl. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid from the pot and whisk it into the flour. Add small amounts of cooking liquid as needed to make a smooth slurry. Stir the cream or half-and-half into the slurry, then pour it into the pot.
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the soup thickens.
  • Reduce heat to low and gradually stir the shredded cheese by the handful (do not boil) into the soup. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in half the bacon.
  • Serve in bowls garnished with the remaining bacon, sliced scallion and additional shredded Cheddar cheese if desired.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Potato Cheese Soup reheats beautifully on the stovetop or microwave and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.  Reheat on low, stirring frequently until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 578kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1393mg | Potassium: 843mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1149IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 601mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe sound so delicious but I have a question, you mentioned that wine or beer is added to help melt the cheese. Do you have a preference? Light or dark beer?

    1. Hi, Silvia, Thanks for your question! Definitely a light beer; you don’t want the beer (or the wine) to be the dominant flavor. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

    1. Hi, Lori, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, but I would recommend a Spanish chorizo which is a hard sausage that has been cured, similar to salami. Fresh chorizo, which is considered Mexican, is more like Italian sausage. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  2. Can you tell me what your cup measurements are in liquid ml? Also how much is a 1/3 cup all-purpose flour? I am going to make your soup tomorrow and I want to be sure I am adding the correct quantities. Thank you. Kind regards Heidi Burgess

    1. Hi, Heidi, Thanks so much for your question. I started to provide metric measurements on all my recipes but it got messy, and I figured that someone who is used to metric measurements would do a better job than I could. I just did a Google search and here’s what I came up with for the flour: 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour would be 50 grams. Here’s an online converter that should be helpful for the other measurements: https://www.rapidtables.com/convert/weight/pound-to-kg.html. Please let me know if you need anything else.

  3. 5 stars
    Your soup is delicious!
    I was wondering if red potatoes would work as well and if another cheese, perhaps Havarti might work as well too?

    1. Hi, Mikayla, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, red potatoes will work fine in this recipe. I like Russets because they practically melt into the soup. If there is another cheese such as Havarti that you prefer, you can certainly use it. Thanks again and happy you enjoyed!

      1. 5 stars
        Just wow!! So rich and flavorful. Thank you so much for the explanations on how to make fond and a slurry. 😊Those are 2 new words added to my cooking technique and vocabulary, both worked wonderfully. Taresa (from Tampa, Fl)

      2. Hi, Taresa, Thanks so much and so happy you enjoyed!! It can be tricky thickening some liquids when you don’t start with a roux, so happy this method worked well for you. Thanks again!!