Oh, but I do love me some soup. Especially in the fall. And since I had some sausage left after making Smoked Sausage and White Bean Soup in the Instant Pot the other day, I thought I’d make more soup, but take it in another direction.
It seems like when I was growing up we had Sausage and Potato Soup (yeah, it’s a German thing. If you grew up in my area of the state, you just “knew” how to make it. It’s genetic. :)) Or we had Potato Soup. Or Cheese Soup . But what we didn’t have was Cheesy Potato and Sausage Soup.
I love how there’s a bit of no-holds barred attitude towards cooking these days. Put it in the pot. Everything, yep. And then add cheese! And then, why not, a little more cheese. 🙂 I’m a little conflicted about cheese – cheese & I have a love/hate relationship. How about you? But it is oh so good in this! Happy dance good!
I made this soup today in the Instant Pot (but you can totally cook it on the stove, see notes in recipe) and it turned out so perfectly. I learned awhile back, though, that potatoes can just about dissolve in the bottom of the Instant Pot, and I wanted them chunky.
Simple solution? Put everything in the Instant Pot but cook the potatoes on top in a steamer basket. When potatoes are done, remove most of them and thicken the soup with the slurry, dairy and cheese. The few potatoes in the bottom of the pot will break down a bit, then you’ll add the rest of potatoes back in. Easy peasy.
Most of the ingredients for Cheesy Sausage & Potato Soup are kitchen staples. I like to pick up the sausage & cheeses on sale & in to the freezer they go. It pays to look for sales priced potatoes – just store them in a cool, dark place away from the onions. Mine usually go in a paper bag near my kitchen door.
Instant Pot Cheesy Potato Sausage Soup
Note: Don’t boil this soup after adding dairy; the cream cheese and cornstarch help keep it creamy but any cheese soup can curdle and/or turn grainy with too much heat. Reheat leftovers gently. When reheating the soup may need to be thinned with broth, milk or water.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- pinch red pepper flakes or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 7 to 14 ounces smoked sausage, cut on the diagonal about 3/8ths inch thick
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 4 medium carrots, diced
- 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth, plus possibly more to thin the soup
- 6 cups russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice, about 2 1/4 pounds, around 4 to 5 medium
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
In a small bowl, mix together salt, marjoram, pepper, paprika & red pepper or cayenne. Set aside and reserve.
Select Saute, hot setting and add oil to the inner liner. When butter is melted, add sausage slices and cook until lightly browned, two or three minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits with plastic spatula. Return sausage to pan.
Add steamer basket to the pot, right on top of the sausage and vegetables. Add the diced potatoes in several layers, sprinkling with the spice mix over each layer, using all the mixture. Lock lid in place, select High Pressure and 4 minutes cook time. (Mine took about 6 minutes to come up to pressure.) When timer beeps, turn off pressure cooker, wait 5 minutes, then do a quick pressure release.
Carefully remove the basket with the potatoes from the pressure cooking pot. It’s just fine if several fall in the pot; return about a cup and a half of the potatoes to the pot. Set pot to Saute.
In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water. Add cornstarch mixture to the pot stirring constantly until thickened and the potatoes break down. Add cubed cream cheese and stir until dissolved; if there are chunks, press against the side of the pan to incorporate them into the soup.
Turn off pot, add the half and half, then cheese by small handfuls, stirring after each addition until cheese is melted. Add potatoes back into the pot, gently stirring.
If necessary, turn Instant Pat back on to the Keep Warm function to heat through, but do not bring to a simmer or a boil. Taste and adjust seasonings. If the soup feels too thick, it may be thinned with additional chicken stock or milk.
Garnish as desired.
No Instant Pot? No problem:
Use two cans of chicken stock.
Heat oil in a large pan. Saute the sausage, remove. Add in onion, celery and carrots and cook until softened. Add in the chicken stock, potatoes, sausage and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, partially covered, stirring gently now and then until potatoes are tender.
Add in the cornstarch slurry and cream cheese, stirring until soup is thickened. Mash a few of the potatoes if desired. Turn off the heat and add the cream, then the cheese in small handfuls. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve as desired.
Note: Not a sausage fan? Try this with chunks of ham, instead.