Cheddar Potato Soup
Homemade Cheddar Potato Soup is a flavorful, easy-to-make, gluten-free bowl of comfort full of creamy potatoes, rich roasted garlic, sweet leeks, warm broth, and topped with tangy Greek yogurt.
Perfect for a casual winter weeknight dinner or when you’re craving the classic soup and grilled cheese pairing!
I originally shared this recipe on August 25, 2012. I have updated the images and some of the text today. This post contains affiliate links.
Why We Love This Recipe For Cheddar Potato Soup
When it’s winter and the days are long and cold, all we can think about is soup. And we like our soup to be a big bowl of creamy, cheesy comfort and this potato cheese soup fits the bill!
At its purest form, this soup is a delicious but humble potato leek soup that’s been elevated to the next level with the addition of rich sharp cheddar and sweet roasted garlic. This kicked-up dish really is a stick-to-your-ribs kind-of meal. With the best part being that it comes together in no time and uses easy-to-find store-bought ingredients and common pantry staples.
And while we love this easy-to-make, one-pot dish on cold chilly days, we know your family will too!
Key Ingredients For This Recipe
When purchasing whole heads of garlic from your local grocer or farmers market, purchase only bulbs that do not have a strong smell. Bulbs with a strong fragrance indicate poor quality and should not be purchased. Garlic only produces a scent when the cells are damaged from being cut or crushed. A strong fragrance in the store means the bulbs were manhandled during transport and storage and, if peeled, you’ll likely see bruises and blemishes on the clove.
Use only the white and light green parts of the leek. I find that their mild onion-like, slightly sweet flavor complements the savory undertones of the dish really well.
Use any waxy, thin-skinned potato you may like for this recipe as they are low in starch and high in moisture; meaning they retain their shape when boiled for an extended period of time. We also find that waxy potatoes, such as a Yukon Gold, produce an ultra-creamy texture pureed in this soup.
Chicken Stock or Broth
For the base of the soup, you’ll want chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth. While using chicken stock will produce a richer flavor base, low-sodium chicken broth is a great option to use if you are running low on time and can’t make your stock.
And if you’d like to keep this vegetarian, feel free to use vegetable broth. Our favorite brand is Imagine No Chicken as we find the taste superior to other brands in that it is not bitter or dark. However, feel free to use your favorite store-bought vegetable broth.
Dry White Wine
Dry white wine brings out the flavors of this delicious soup while also adding another note of acidity. We prefer to use a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay but feel free to use your favorite; just be sure to use a brand that does not have a lot of oak or residual sugar.
Note that we recommend using coarse kosher salt instead of table salt. However, you can use table salt, but you will want to cut the amount used in half.
Freshly shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese is used in the soup. We find that full-bodied, tangier flavors of this cheese pairs well with all the rich elements of this dish, however; if you would prefer to use just a sharp cheddar that would be delicious as well.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh thyme
- Greek yogurt
Step-By-Step Instructions To Make Cheddar Potato Soup
Step 1: Preheat Oven
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Step 2: Roast Garlic
With a serrated knife, cut the ends of the garlic head off, exposing individual tips of garlic cloves. Place root-side down on a double layer of foil and drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil over the exposed garlic clove ends. Wrap foil into a packet and place it in the oven. Roast until garlic is soft, fragrant, and starting to brown; approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and open packet to allow garlic to cool.
Step 3: Prepare Soup Base
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the remaining olive oil. Add leek, thyme, and salt. Cook, stirring often until leek is softened and slightly brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine, increase heat to high and boil until the wine is almost evaporated about 1 to 3 minutes. Then, add broth and potatoes, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and maintain a gentle simmer. Remove lid and continue simmering until the potatoes are soft, 15 to 18 minutes.
Step 4: Add in Roasted Garlic and Puree
Squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins and into the soup. Puree in batches until desired consistency is reached. Stir in cheese.
Step 5: Finish Soup
Serve immediately with a dollop of Greek yogurt and scallions.
FAQ And Expert Tips
Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheat any leftovers on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave until warmed through.
No, if you do not drink or cook with alcohol, wine can be omitted completely without effecting the taste as the garlic will add plenty of acidity. If omitting, skip ahead to step 4.
Of course! To make this dish vegetarian, simply swap in Imagine No-chicken Broth or your favorite brand and top with vegan Greek yogurt.
To thicken the soup, create a slurry made from one cup of water and five tablespoons of potato starch. Whisk to remove any lumps and slowly add to the soup. Keep in mind, that potato starch is gluten-free and doesn’t handle high heat so, add when the soup is set to simmer.
How To Safely Puree Hot Soup
If you’ve never pureed hot soup before, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Do not fill the blender too high. To be safe, only fill the blender jar to the halfway point and puree in batches.
- Be sure the lid is firmly closed, set a dry kitchen towel over the top, and hold on tight to the top.
- Turn the blender on low and slowly increase the speed. If the blender is turned on too high initially, it will build up too much steam that can violently push the top right off the blender and can cause the hot soup to go everywhere.
- If you have one, feel free to use a hand immersion blender. It’s convenient, easy to clean, and usually a safer way to puree than the blender method
Additional Soups with Potatoes To Try
- Potato Soup with Andouille Sausage is a hearty chunky stew with a little anise added to it!
- I love this slow cooker potato and kielbasa soup in the cold months. The house smells fantastic when it’s cooking!
- The trick to making this cheesy kale soup creamy is adding in potatoes.
- My creamy and chunky Corn Chowder gets its creaminess from pureeing the soup with the cooked potatoes in it. No other thickener required!
- If you have an instant pot this creamy cheesy cauliflower soup is super simple and ultra-silky smooth.
Additional Roasted Garlic Recipes To Try
- Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad is a hearty and delicious salad for true garlic lovers!
- Stove-Top Roasted Garlic is a great and simple technique to know if you love roasted garlic.
- Roasted Garlic Hummus is close the classic that we all know and love but with a nice rich twist!
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter for healthy recipes delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make these recipes, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Roasted Garlic Cheddar Soup with potatoes to make it ultra creamy. To make it vegetarian, simply swap in no-chicken broth. We love it topped with Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of scallions or chives.
- 3 whole heads garlic
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large leek, sliced and washed and drained
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth or stock or vegetarian no-chicken broth
- 2 pounds thin-skinned waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4-ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
- 6 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 2 scallions, sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Cut ends of garlic head off with a serrated knife exposing individual tips of garlic cloves. Place root-side down on a double layer of aluminum foil and drizzle 1 teaspoon oil over the exposed garlic clove ends. Wrap foil into a packet and transfer to the oven (seam side-up.) Roast garlic until soft, fragrant and starting to brown, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and open packet and allow garlic to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add leek, thyme and salt and cook, stirring often until the leek is softened and starting to brown slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine, increase heat to high and boil until the wine is almost completely evaporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Add broth or stock and potatoes, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer, remove lid and continue simmering until the potatoes are very soft, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Squeeze the soft roasted garlic out of the papery skins into the soup. Puree in batches until desired consistency. USE CAUTION WHEN BLENDING HOT LIQUIDS! Stir in cheese.
- Serve topped with a dallop of Greek yogurt and scallions.
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups each
- Calories: 270
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 876 mg
- Fat: 10 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 45 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 11 g