Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Potato Bacon Soup with Parmesan Cheese - Yum!

It's Thanksgiving Week.

I'm thankful for the love of my family, my health, my sense of humor, and my career. I'm thankful for blue skies, the strains of a good saxophone, the trill of a bird, the warm fur of a contented pet.

What are you thankful for?

Daryl Wood Gerber
Thanksgiving is all about the gathering of family and/or friends. I love the celebration, despite the "big" meal and the heavy feeling the next day if I overate. Why? Because the day is about love, laughter, and the sharing of good times. It's not about gifts. There's no hidden agenda. The football and specials on TV aren't bad, either.  Now, if we only had a hummable Thanksgiving song! [I guess America, the Beautiful works. "Oh, Beautiful for spacious skies..." I mentioned this in the first CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY, but this happens to be one of Charlotte's favorite songs. Amber waves of grain...just like her hometown in Ohio.]

There's almost nothing as yummy as soup to start off a Thanksgiving meal. I like a salad during the summer, but as the days grow cooler. I love potato soup. So easy to mash those potatoes. Add cream.

Add Parmesan cheese and bacon, and this is like a taste of Nirvana. 


[serves 6)


2 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4)
6 strips bacon
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup half-and-half
2 cups 2% milk
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon of salt (for boiling water)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
extra Parmesan for garnish


Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt. While water is heating, cut the potatoes into quarters. 

Add cut potatoes to boiling water and bring to a boil.  Cook for 20-25 minutes until tender.  [A fork should slide easily in and out.]  Drain well. Return the potatoes to the pot and cover, heat off.

Meanwhile, chop onions and saute in butter on low for about 10 minutes.

Also cook the bacon to crispy, let cool on paper towels. Break into pieces. Tip: I use scissors to get the bigger pieces chopped. Set aside. (Reserve 2 full slices, in pieces, for the garnish)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the half-and-half and Parmesan cheese until it simmers. Add the bacon (less the reserved portion).

With a handheld mixer, beat the hot potatoes in the pot until they are broken up.  [You can also use a masher.]  Slowly add the cream, salt, pepper, then beat until smooth.   [Note, right at this moment, you have fabulous mashed potatoes.  You can skip the next step--adding milk—and serve as a side dish.]

Now, proceeding to make the soup.  Add the 2 cups of milk. If the potato soup needs to be reheated, cover and cook gently over low heat  until warm.  [A few minutes.] Pour into 6 serving bowls and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese and bacon. Serve hot.

I hope this makes it onto your Thanksgiving menu. What are you serving, by the way? Have you thought about it?


The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series: 
coming February 2013.

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Say cheese!



  1. Oh that sounds fantastic! And there is a Thanksgiving Song, The Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler!

    1. You're right! And he has the Hannukah song. Funny guy (most times).

      Thanks for the reminder.

      ~Avery aka Daryl

  2. This sounds delicious. Love that it's made with 2% milk instead of cream. I don't think I can fit it into our Thanksgiving menu, but I'm definitely making it on a snowy winter day.

    ~ Krista

    1. I often use 2% milk and most recipes don't seem to suffer with is. :)


  3. I'm definitely going to make this! Whenever I visited my grandmother, she made my two favorite things for dinner--potato soup (but without the bacon which I would defniitely add!) and what we called German pancakes--actually crepes stuffed with sweetened cottage cheese and sprinkled with sugar. Heaven!

    1. Peg, love the German pancakes. I remember my stepmother making those. She got the recipe from her grandmother. Got the recipe?

      Daryl aka Avery

    2. My grandmother didn't have recipes! LOL. It was "take a handul of this and a pinch of that..."

  4. Yum! This sounds toe-warming good.
    Krista, when I want the luscious mouth-feel of cream, but don't want the fat and calories, I use evaporated milk. It does a pretty good job. I use it in dishes like penne a la vodka.

  5. Libby, interesting idea using evaporated milk. Mmm. Must try. Penne a la vodka also sounds interesting!! Share?

    Daryl aka Avery

    1. As you wish (no, wait, that's Princess Bride!)
      Penne a la (or alla) Vodka with revisions
      1/4 pound bacon, diced I used turkey bacon-no nitrates
      1/4 cup olive oil-or less, as needed
      6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
      1 medium onion, diced
      1/2 cup vodka
      2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, with their juice, pureed in a blender--decided how smooth or chunky you like sauce and blend accordingly
      1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
      Salt, to taste
      1 cup heavy cream or 1-1/2 cups evaporated skim milk
      2 (16-ounce) boxes penne pasta-cooked at the last minute
      24 fresh basil leaves, chopped
      1-1/2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese

      Saute "bacon", garlic, and onion c. 5 minutes
      Add vodka and allow to reduce by 1/2
      Add red pepper and salt (if using) and simmer 15-30 minutes, or as long as you can stand to wait!
      Add evaporated milk and keep warm
      When the pasta is ready, stir in the basil and cheese
      Drain the pasta, return to pot and pour in the sauce
      Serve immediately

      A pound of penne (assuming you can find a box that is actually 16 oz., many brands are less than that)is supposed to feed 6-8 Not in my house! Maybe 4-6 if there are other things to eat, bread, salad, etc.
      An obvious shortcut is to use your favorite pre-made sauce and add vodka to it.

  6. Hmmm... A song for Thanksgiving... How about the old Bob Hope classic, Thanks for the Memories

    ... Of course, I used to play "Grandma got run over by a Reindeer" on the way home from my EX-Mother-in-Law's house after Thanksgiving just to get me in the holiday spirit. But that probably doesn't count.

    And BTW... tater soup is a great excuse to set up a Potato Soup Bar (think salad Bar) with little bowls of broccoli, asparagus, Bacon, Cheese, little Asian Corn Cobs, pasta... just about anything you can think of.

    Great post

    Dave who used to be Year on the Grill, but I moved inside

    1. Hi, Dave. Nice to see you and what a great idea for the "soup bar"!! Love that idea.

      Hope you are well, inside...and out.

      LOL re: Mama/Reindeer song. Such a funny ditty.

      Daryl aka Avery

  7. Mmm, cheese and bacon, mmm. A taste of Nirvana, indeed....Smells like cheese spirit.

  8. Dave, glad you moved inside for the winter! Love the idea of the potato soup bar...

    I'm grateful for all the people in my life, including my friends at Mystery Lovers Kitchen!!

    1. Roberta, I agree. All the people in my life and all my darling mates on MLK. We are lucky.

      Daryl aka Avery

  9. This is almost the same recipe I make except I use baked potatoes. I peel the COOLED potatoes (take my word for it, don't try to peel hot potatoes!), coarse chop them and stir into the milk/onion base, add bacon (I am lazy and use Hormel Bacon Pieces. I buy the big bag at Sam's because I am so lazy!), add cheese and voila! Baked Potato soup!

    1. Judy, I love your "lazy-woman" version. Baked potato. Fun. Yes, I know about trying to peel baked potatoes. Yipes! Same with baked gourds. So hotttttt!

      ~Daryl aka Avery

  10. It looks delicious and healthy recipe. Wanna try this.

  11. I wanted to let you know that in Kindergarten, which was a VERY long time ago, I learned a Thanksgiving Day song. I can't think of a song with a similar tune to give you an idea of how it sounds, but the words were:
    "A turkey sat on the backyard fence
    And he sang this sad, sad tune.
    Thanksgiving Day is coming, gobble, gobble, gobble!
    And I know I'll be eaten soooooooon!
    Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble!
    I don't like Thanksgiving Daaaay,
    Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble!
    I think I'll run away!"
    Talk about a song that sticks in your mind! I learned this over 50 years ago and I still remember it verbatim. Why doesn't my memory work like this when I set down my cell phone? or my purse? or (insert object here)?

    1. Judy, that's hysterical. And so sad. Watch out for the guy with the axe, right? Oh, my! You've been traumatized.

      Daryl aka Avery

  12. That soup looks so thick and delicious! My husband would love it w. that bacon!