Tex-Mex Potato Soup

from Back to the Cutting Board, slightly adapted from Allrecipes.com

Dinner, Soup | Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 10 min | Total time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 6 cups)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (omit or substitute with green bell pepper to make it less spicy)
  • 4 – 6 slices bacon, crumbled* (plus more for sprinkling on top if you want)
  • 1/4 tsp. black or white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  • Juice of half a lime (about 1 tbsp.)
  • 12 oz. can of non-fat evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch (optional, see recipe notes)
  • 1/2 cup 2% (reduced fat) cheddar cheese (or a Mexican blend of cheeses), shredded, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, plus more for sprinkling on top

*Note: You can either cut up uncooked bacon and cook it with the onions/garlic/peppers or if you want to have extra for sprinkling on top, cook it separately (in a skillet or microwave), crumble it up and add it in with the ground pepper. I noted both instances in the recipe.

Process

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat and saute onion, garlic and peppers (and uncooked bacon if you want to cook it now) for 5-8 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add in the black and cayenne pepper (and crumbled bacon if you already cooked it separately) and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a blender or food processor, add chicken broth, 4 cups of potato, carrots and lime juice. You may need to do this in batches: It fit in my blender, but it was so thick that the motor was having a hard time getting the stuff on top blended. If necessary, you can add in a little more chicken broth to thin it out. (See note about thickening the soup, if necessary, at the bottom.)
  5. Pour blended potato mixture into the pot with the other vegetables. Add in the remaining chunks of potato and evaporated milk.*
  6. Heat the soup just to boiling. Add in the cheese and salt. Stir until all the cheese is melted. Stir in cilantro.
  7. Serve immediately. Top with extra cheese, cilantro, bacon and a squeeze of lime.

*Note: I found this soup to be more than thick enough, but if you like extra thick soup reserve 1/4 cup of the evaporated milk and whisk in the cornstarch until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pot along with the cheese. Stir regularly and cook until thickened.

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