My Mom got this recipe from Jan South, a dear friend from church in Abilene. Mom would make this soup in the wintertime and it was one of my favorite things she made. It still is. Cheese was expensive for us growing up, so it was a luxury to eat this cheesy soup. Mom makes this with Velveeta because it melts so beautifully, and I’ll admit that despite trying to successfully substitute a host of other real cheeses, nothing works in this recipe like Velveeta.
So all you foodies forgive me for posting a recipe that calls for Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread. But I think if you will sneak into the grocery store at 3am with sunglasses on so no one will see you buying Velveeta, you’ll agree that this soup is pretty darned extraordinary.
3 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
In a heavy pot, cover the potatoes just barely with water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are just beginning to get tender. Don’t overcook them at this point.
Remove from heat, drain in a colander, and spray with cold water to stop the cooking process.
6 slices of bacon
Fry bacon in a hot skillet until it is very crisp…almost burnt. Remove to paper towels to drain. Remove enough bacon grease to leave 3 Tablespoons in the skillet. Add:
1 onion, diced
Stir well to help “deglaze” the pan, cooking until onion is translucent. Then add:
1 cup milk
Stir well, then pour everything into a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add:
2 more cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
8 turns ground black pepper
Stir with whisk and continue to heat until just at a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Add:
8 ounces Velveeta, grated or cubed
You can use sharp cheddar but it doesn’t melt as nicely. If you must substitute, use Monterey Jack, but it won’t taste as good.
Stir the soup until the cheese is melted, and do not let the soup boil after the cheese is added. Too much heat or boiling will cause the cheese to separate and get nasty. As soon as the cheese is melted, serve the soup.
It keeps nicely in the fridge for a day or two, but the cheese will usually separate. This doesn’t affect the flavor of the soup, only the texture.