This "Potato Chowder" is one that my mother has made for years! It's very different from the Cheesy Potato Soup I make, but it is equally as good and probably healthier also! This is also a homemade soup you can have on the table in less than an hour! This makes a fairly large pot of soup, but it's actually good leftover also! Here is what you will need for this "Potato Chowder":
4 cups potatoes, diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1/2 cup sweet onion, finely diced
1/2 cup carrots, finely diced
3 cups water
4 Tbs. butter
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups half and half cream
1/4 cup instant potato flakes
1 lb. Velveeta Cheese, cubed (can use American cheese or even cheddar)
salt and pepper to taste
Place potatoes, celery, onion, carrots and water in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Mama actually puts the celery, carrots and onion in the food processor and pulses them just a couple of times to get them minced. If you have picky eaters this is a good idea. If you like your veggies a little bigger, just dice them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook on medium low until the potatoes are fork tender.
Add the butter, soup, half and half, potato flakes and cheese. The Velveeta is smoother and creamier for melting, but you can use American or cheddar if you are one of those people who does not understand the use of Velveeta cheese. There are just times when Velveeta works best!
Simmer on low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes until the cheese has melted and everything is well blended and smooth. Taste for seasoning at the end. You might not even need salt, because of the soup and cheese. I do like to add some black pepper.
Garnish with a some green onion or chives and some additional grated cheese!