Hearty Potato Chowder

Hearty Potato Chowder, this wonderful soup is perhaps just a bit healthier than some of the “Loaded Baked Potato Soup” recipes out there. More like an Old Fashioned Cream of Potato Soup, think this soup as the smarter, plainer sister – you know who I mean, the one who is a bit subtler; the one who relies on common sense, not just “flash!”

Hearty Potato Chowder
Hearty Potato Chowder

Hearty Potato Chowder lets the flavor of the potato shine through – the simple recipe uses basic pantry ingredients, comes together quickly and has no cheese, cream or sour cream for added fat (or cost.) Made with a good chicken stock, I think it rivals any soup out there, and made with a boxed stock, it’s still wonderful.

Crusty Bread
Crusty Bread

Of course a little cheese and or sour cream in the garnish never hurt anyone – and if you’d like to enrichen it with a heavier dairy product, that’s your prerogative. Perfect on crisp fall or cold winter day, and ready in about 25 minutes, Hearty Potato chowder does rely on the bacon for a little extra flavor, part of what puts it a notch above any regular old Cream of Potato Soups, but a little butter works, too.

I think about this recipe when milk and/or potatoes are on sale, although it’s always inexpensive, and you may wish to double the recipe, depending on your eaters or if you’d like to have left overs. Think about serving this with a good bread (like Crusty Bread or Beer Cheese Bread) and a dark green or spinach salad…

Hearty Potato Chowder
Hearty Potato Chowder

Hearty Potato Chowder

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 3 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 5 to 6 medium potatoes, about 1 1/4 pounds, 1/2″ dice
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2 1/4 cups water or broth
  • 4 cups milk (2% is fine)
  • Salt to taste, you may need more or less depending on the saltiness of the broth; 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
  • Garnish as desired: Crumbled bacon, Sour Cream, Chives or Green Onions, Cheese

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until just crisp, remove, crumble and reserve. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat and saute onion and carrots in the remainder. Add a little butter if mixture becomes too dry or there is not enough bacon fat to amount to three tablespoons.

Add potatoes and water and/or stock, bring to a boil, partially cover with a lid, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add milk and warm through, but do not boil. Taste and add salt if needed.

Remove 2 cups of the mixture and blend, then add back to the pan, or use a hand masher and roughly mash a bit of the potatoes until it reaches the consistency you desire. The soup will thicken slightly when its not piping hot.

Garnish with the reserved bacon. Garnish additionally as you desire with cheese, chives or green onion, and/or sour cream.

Note: this recipe makes 4 bowls of soup; you may wish to double.

 from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com


Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

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Per Serving: 210 Calories; 6g Fat (27.1% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 18mg Cholesterol; 554mg Sodium

Your Own Spin: 

  • A few green onions or chives would be a welcome garnish.
  • Try a little grated cheese over each bowl.
  • Omit the bacon, and substitute ham for a different flavor.
  • Of course, you could use richer milk products:  half and half or even cream to finish the dish.

My Pay Off:

  • A soup that is pretty much a meal on its own (simply add a muffin or a hearty piece of bread, perhaps a salad) at a cost that beats out canned, hands down.
  • Recipe priced originally at $1.70 in May of 2012; updated for under a dollar in February of 2014 – Even I am getting to be a better shopper as many prices have risen.

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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