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person holding a bowl of cheese and potato soup

Smoky Cheese and Potato Soup

  • Author: Brooke
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups 1x


Smoky cheese and potato soup is an easy recipe that uses up leftover ham and is made on the stove top.  This creamy homemade soup is loaded with delicious real food ingredients.  It's best served warm with a thick slice of rye bread.


  • 1 head of garlic, about 9 cloves (60g)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (326g)
  • 3 cups smoked Gouda, grated (7 oz; 200g)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (14g)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked ham, finely diced (195g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 cups whole milk (710 ml)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Roast the garlic. Cut 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic and remove the outer skins, keeping the head intact.  Place cut side up in a small ovenproof bowl and drizzle the olive oil on top.  Cover the bowl with foil and place on a small cookie sheet to make it easier to remove from the oven.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Once cool, remove the cooked cloves and finely chop them.
  3. Mash the potatoes. Put the diced potatoes into a pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil, then add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until the salt is dissolved.  Lower heat to a simmer, and cook until fork tender.  Drain and mash the potatoes, stir in the chopped roasted garlic, and set aside.  You'll need 1 1/2 cups of packed mashed potatoes.  Wash and dry the pot.
  4. Coat the cheese. Toss the grated smoked Gouda with two tablespoons of flour.
  5. Saute. Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, then add the ham, cayenne pepper, and white pepper.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add liquid. Pour the milk into the pot and let it heat for about 5 minutes or until it is hot, being careful to not let it boil.  Gradually whisk in the garlic mashed potatoes.  Cook until the potatoes are heated through and the soup has thickened from the potato starch, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Add cheese. Stir in the grated cheese and flour mixture.  Cook for a few minutes, so the cheese is melted and the flour is cooked a bit to get rid of the raw flour taste.
  8. Serve. Allow the soup to cool for 5 minutes to thicken before garnishing with fresh parsley.


  • Butter or bacon fat are other good choices for fat.
  • Use Yukon gold potatoes as a substitute.
  • Use convenient cubed ham or ham steaks if you don't have any leftover ham.
  • Using cornstarch, you'll get the same results as flour for thickening.
  • Try crumbled bacon, grated cheese, scallions, chives, or float a toast shape like a shamrock on top for St. Patrick's Day if you would like different options for garnishes.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cheesy ham and potato soup, ham and potato soup recipe