The Return of the Prodigal Potato Soup Recipe

Way back in the last century–the mid-’70s to be exact–when the Gnome and I thought we were hippies (we were so not), my brother and his wife gave us a treasured gift: The Mother Earth News Almanac.

We devoured it. In particular, we devoured this soup whose recipe was on the pages of the almanac. We fell in love all over again. In the course of a couple of moves and boxes long left unpacked, we lost track of the book–and the recipe. Ultimately, we forgot the source of this recipe. But on many a cold winter night we just recalled it, reminisced about it, and mourned its loss forever.

Or so we thought. A couple of years ago when we were sorting through our small library, we came across our beloved, well-worn Mother Earth News Almanac.


You know how it is when a reader comes across an old book (any book, really). To heck with the job at hand; I had to at least scan its pages. I noticed one that was bookmarked. Guess what it was. You got it–our favorite cheesy potato soup!

This recipe is for two hungry people, but can be doubled or tripled easily enough.


  • Boil 2 potatoes (a little larger than medium-size, whatever that is)
  • Drain, but save the liquid
  • Mash the potatoes
  • Add drained liquid back into the pot to obtain desired thickness. If you’ve added all the water and the mixture is still too thick, add more water.
  • In a small skillet, brown 2 ½ Tbsp flour in 2 ½ Tbsp melted butter, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  • Add browned mixture to potato-water mixture; bring to a boil and cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes to thicken.
  • Fill each soup bowl 1/3 full with small chunks of cheddar cheese (the sharper the better, we think).
  • Cover cheese with soup. You want the soup hot enough to soften, but not necessarily to melt the cheese.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of diced onion and a few sprinkles of apple cider vinegar to taste. (We like the extra zing of the vinegar, so we add anything from 2 Tbsp-1/4 cup–you might want to start lighter and go from there.)
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

As good as the cheese-potato mixture is, the addition of the onion and vinegar is essential to make this recipe extraordinary (not to mention that they are the healthiest ingredients).

Rib-sticking thick, this soup is a great comfort food for a chilly wintry day. Add my prize-winning corn bread recipe for a tasty, filling combo.


2 thoughts on “The Return of the Prodigal Potato Soup Recipe

  1. Pingback: Modern Homesteading Update and Recipes – Living on the Diagonal

  2. Pingback: I Blog For Mother Earth News! – Living on the Diagonal

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