1mediumcarrotpeeled and diced (approximately 1 cup)
3russet potatoespeeled and diced
1 ½cupswhole milk
7ouncesextra-sharp cheddar cheeseshredded
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepperto taste
Optional Garnishes: jalapenos, fresh parsley, croutons, extra cheese
In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the olive oil and cook the onions, carrots and celery over medium-high heat until soft; about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the potatoes; stir well. Allow the vegetables to cook for 5 to 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Give them a good stir now and then to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When the potatoes are tender, stir in the vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat. Cover with a lid, (venting slightly). Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in the milk.
Carefully ladle the soup into a blender or a food processor in batches, or use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Puree until creamy and smooth. Return the soup to the pot if needed, but do not turn the heat back on. Stir in the cheese in batches until the soup is well combined. Add cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve topped with jalapenos, croutons, parsley and more shredded cheese, if desired.
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