By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Perfect Potato Soup

I call this recipe "perfect potato soup" because it’s perfectly delicious, perfectly simple to prepare and my perfectly picky children love it. Potato soup was considered simple, inexpensive comfort food until chain restaurants began serving "baked potato soup." This popular soup calls for baking potatoes, removing the skin and making a rich soup with traditional baked potato toppings like bacon, shredded cheese and sour cream.

This recipe is a cross between the old and the new, made simple by using convenience products like frozen pre-chopped onion and Southern-style hash browns. Both can be quickly thawed in the microwave or measured out and thawed in the refrigerator while you’re at work. Serve your potato soup with a fruit salad and cinnamon muffins, baked from a mix or purchased at the supermarket.

  • 6 slices bacon or turkey bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes or frozen Southern-style hash browns, thawed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 10 3/4-ounce cans regular or reduced fat condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 soup cans milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Fry bacon until crisp in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and set aside. Add onion to bacon fat and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and water. Cover pan with lid and cook for 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Stir in salt, soup and milk. Heat through but do not boil.

Ladle into bowls and top each bowl with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and some of the crumbled bacon.

Makes 6 servings.