Aunt Thelma’s Potato Soup

Today’s Fearless Female prompt from The Accidental Genealogist is to:

Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.

I have a number of recipes that have been passed down in my family, but this is the one that I make the most often.  I typically make it several times a year in the fall and winter; in fact, one of the few things I like about cold weather is making this soup.  This recipe comes from my great-aunt Thelma, by way of my mother.  I’ve modified it slightly over the years, but the core recipe is still true to Aunt Thelma’s original.


2 sliced celery sticks

1 medium onion, chopped

2 teaspoons butter

6 medium potatoes, cubed (I like to use Yukon Gold)

1 1/2 to 2 cups water (enough to barely cover potatoes)

2 sliced carrots (I use a handful of baby carrots, sliced)

5 chicken boullion cubes (I use 5 tsps. organic chicken base)

1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed whole thyme

1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed rosemary

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 cups milk

1 cup shredded cheese (I use extra-sharp cheddar)

dash freshly cracked black pepper


Saute celery and onions in butter until soft, but not brown.  Add next 7 ingredients (through rosemary).  Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender.  Remove from heat and mash lightly with a potato masher (you want it to be lumpy, not pureed).  Add milk and cheese and stir until cheese is melted.

Garnish with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese and serve with a crusty French or Italian bread and white wine.

This post was written for Women’s History Month. To see all posts in this series, click here.

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  1. Joan Hill says

    Tonia, I will remember to add the rosemary, thyme, and especially the shredded cheese the next time I make potato soup. Yours made mine sound a bit bland. Thanks.

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