2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks (about 1-1/2 inch)
1/2 cup of chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup (1/2 to 1 stick) salted butter
Water to cover
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
Shredded cheese, for garnish, optional

Toss the potatoes with the onion, celery, flour and salt and pepper; set aside for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile melt the butter in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the potato mixture to the pot; stir to coat. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil; stir in the milk, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally about 25 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Taste, adjust salt and pepper, and continue cooking on simmer, uncovered, until the soup reach desired consistency and thickness. Garnish each serving with shredded cheese if you like and serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes: May also substitute green onion. Use an immersion blender or potato masher to puree the potatoes, if a less chunky texture is desired.

Variation: Brown several slices of bacon, set aside and crumble. Add the potato mixture and proceed with the recipe. Garnish with crumbled bacon.

Potato Soup with Cajun Sausage: Slice one pound of andouille sausage into 1-inch slices and brown in oil; remove and set aside. Add butter to pot and continue with recipe.

Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup: Add in 2 cups of smoked ham, cubed with the potatoes. Just before serving, stir in 1-1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, just until melted.

Instant Pot/Electronic Pressure Cooker: Prep potatoes as above and let rest. Use saute function to melt butter, add potato mixture, toss to coat and top with water (or chicken broth) to cover, plus an inch. Stir in half of the milk. Seal and cook on high for 10 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Open and mash some of the potatoes, if desired.

Stir in remaining milk and any additional chicken broth or water as needed to bring to desired consistency. Add cheese if using and garnish as desired.

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