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. I could hardly think of a better use for that sausage than Cheesy Potato Sausage Soup – Instant Pot or Stove-top.
I made this soup today in the Instant Pot, but you can totally cook it on the stove, too. I put the instructions for both right in the recipe. This is a beautiful soup and turns out perfectly, either way.
About Cheesy Potato Sausage Soup – Instant Pot or Stove-top:
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 Iowa, 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. And we SURE didn’t have Cheesy Potato Sausage Soup – Instant Pot or Stove-top!
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!
This Cheesy Potato Sausage Soup def hits all my comfort food notes! Well, first of all it’s soup. Then the flavor is outstanding and it’s so warm, filling and homey…
Making Cheesy Potato Sausage Soup – Instant Pot or Stove-top:
I learned a while back, though, through several unfortunate meals, that potatoes can just about dissolve in the bottom of the Instant Pot, and I wanted them chunky.
Simple solution? Put everything but the potatoes in the Instant Pot. Then cook the potatoes on top in a steamer basket. When potatoes are done, remove them, basket and all. A few of the potatoes few will fall down into the soup, but no worries about that. They’ll break down a bit and help thicken the soup.
The real thickening agent, though is the slurry, in this case, the mixture of cornstarch and water. I don’t use that as a thickener very often, but in this case, it’s perfect and helps make the soup silky and delish. And then, into the soup is added the dairy, cream cheese, cream and of course, the cheese. Once that’s melted and all heated through into cheesy deliciousness, the potatoes go right back in.
Saving Money On Cheesy Potato Sausage Soup – Instant Pot or Stove-top:
I love to pick up sausage on sale and while I don’t do a lot with coupons these days, it’s worth taking a look at the producer’s site and print or download them if they’re available; they’re usually for a dollar, which is a good percentage of the price. Sales are often in the fall and coincide with the release of coupons. Sausage freezes very well.
The veggies in this soup are just common grocery store veggies. While they may not be on sale often (with the exception of potatoes) they’re usually less per pound in larger bags and they keep well, with the possible exception of celery.
Potatoes in the larger bags may be a mix of sizes. I like to give them a sort and use the larger ones for baked potatoes or dishes that need larger, more uniform potatoes and the odd ones for recipes like this. Don’t let your carrots languish on the bottom of your veggie drawer. Give them a turn from time to time and make sure they’re kept at right angles to any ridges. That helps to keep them out of condensation.
Cream cheese, cheese and items like half and half (or cream – half and half is just half milk and half cream so buy whichever is less expensive) are items that are often on sale around holidays and they have a long shelf life. Buy them on sale and stock up; don’t just pick up what you need, but think about the upcoming weeks.
Cheesy Potato Sausage Soup - Instant Pot or Stove-top
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 oil is hot, 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.