I brainstormed this Cheesesteak Potato Soup recipe on Twitter earlier this year, and sometimes I just really love my mind! It’s amazing! It’s everything I wanted! It’s actually more of a chowder or a stew, thickened with both a roux and pureed potatoes, but I like the way Cheesesteak Potato Soup rolls off the tongue, so that’s what I’m calling it.
This Cheesesteak Potato Soup has all the flavors of a cheesesteak, with the warm, comforting backdrop of creamy potato soup. So good, and y’all know how I love my spins on cheesesteak! It takes quite a few ingredients and steps, but it’s fairly straightforward and takes less than an hour to get on the table from start to finish, making it great for those ‘prep before work, cook after work’ days I often have.
Cheesesteak Potato Soup Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Cheesesteak Potato Soup recipe:
- Shaved steak: Find it in the meat section, near the steaks and stew cuts. If you can’t find ask the guy behind the meat counter to shave a few steaks for you. I opt for sirloin or ribeye most often. If you can’t find it at all I recommend sticking your steaks in the freezer for half an hour to firm them up, then using a sharp knife to carefully slice them as thinly as you possibly can. If you can’t get it paper-thin you’ll need to cook it longer. If the pieces are more than a quarter of an inch thick, you might want to simmer them along with the potatoes so they don’t need a lot of chewing at the end.
- Gold potatoes: Red potatoes will work here too. I don’t recommend russet potatoes because they don’t hold their shape as well after being cooked. Yes, we’re pureeing part of the soup so there will be a lot of different potato textures happening, but russets are more likely to turn to straight-up potato puree before we even get to blending.
- Yellow onion, garlic cloves: Part of our flavor base. We chop them small; they cook down and then blend until they’re almost indiscernible in the final Cheesesteak Potato Soup.
- Green bell pepper, red bell pepper: I wanted these to stay whole for texture and appearance, so I sauteed them quickly before scooping them out, adding them back near the end. If you blend the peppers along with the rest of the soup I’d be interested to know what color it turns out, so come back and tell me! They’re optional if you’re a cheesesteak purist.
- All-purpose flour: A roux is the main thickener, the only one other than the pureed potatoes.
- Beef broth, whole milk, half-and-half: Chicken or vegetable broth will work in place of beef. You can substitute heavy cream for half-and-half if you like. The recipe calls for 8 cups of liquid, but this will vary especially if you don’t weigh your potatoes, and is very much up to you and your tastes. If you like a looser stew, add more broth after you’ve finished the blending portion. If you have leftovers and need to reheat the soup, you’ll likely need to add more broth or milk then. You’ll probably want to add more garlic salt than the recipe calls for if you do this.
- White amerikan cheese, provolone: My cheeses of choice. I feel like these are fairly traditional for what most people consider cheesesteaks. You could add Cheez Wiz if you want.
- Butter, vegetable oil: The fats. The vegetable oil is for sauteing the peppers and onions; the butter is for building the roux. You can substitute them for each other if need to.
- Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, dried parsley: Seasonings. If you don’t have any garlic salt just mix together 2 parts garlic powder with 1 part kosher salt to make your own. There isn’t enough cayenne to make it spicy, it’s just nice along with all the dairy.
How to Make Cheesesteak Potato Soup
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Cheesesteak Potato Soup recipe:
- Where’s the beef?? Place a large dutch oven – at least 5 or 6 quarts in capacity – over medium-high heat. Allow to preheat for one minute, then add a drizzle of oil and swirl it around to coat the surface. Add the shaved steak to the pan and let sear undisturbed for two minutes. Flip and stir, breaking up the meat, then add the Worcestershire, and about one teaspoon of garlic salt to the pan. Continue cooking, moving it around occasionally, until the steak is cooked through. It should only take a couple of minutes and don’t overcook it. It should be nice and tender at the end of all of this, that’s why it only gets a quick sear. When it’s done, remove the meat to a plate and set it aside.
- Time for aromatics. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and stir in the bell peppers. Cook just until they begin to soften, then transfer them to the plate with the steak. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onions to the pan. Cook until the onions start to soften and deepen in color, then stir in the garlic. Cook together for about one minute, then spread out into a single layer as best you can.
- Build the roux. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic. Stir them together well, breaking up any lumps of flour you see. Add a drizzle of oil or a bit more butter if the pan is dry: you’re making a roux. Cook for three minutes, stirring constantly.
- Make soup. Next, add the broth, milk, and half and half to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high, then stir in the black pepper, cayenne pepper, and remaining salt. Stir the diced potatoes in (if there’s not enough liquid to completely cover the potatoes add more broth or milk until there is) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat back down to medium.
- Let’s blend! Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Stick your immersion blender directly into the pot – don’t scrape the bottom! – and blend the Cheesesteak Potato Soup for about 45 seconds. You’re not blending all of it, just enough to make it creamy. Unless you want to blend it all, that’s totally up to you.
- FINISH HIM! Increase the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for five more minutes, then stir in the steak and peppers, followed by the cheeses. Stir well, making sure they’re melted evenly throughout the soup, then remove the pot from heat and taste. Adjust for seasonings, if needed, then cover. Let the soup rest for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle minced chives or parsley over the top of each individual serving.
No Immersion Blender? Try these Instructions!
An immersion blender is pretty high up there on my list of “gadgets that are nice to have but not necessary.” I use mine for everything from Whipped Sweet Potato Pie to Chili Sauce and I recommend that anyone who cooks quite a bit add one to their arsenal eventually. If you don’t have one or you don’t feel like pulling it out for this Cheesesteak Potato Soup here are ways around that:
- Stand Blender. When the potatoes are tender turn off the heat. Spoon about one-third of the soup out of the pot. Allow it to cool to just above warm before you blend it, leaving the top vented or feed tube open. Once pureed, turn the heat back on to medium, and stir the blended soup back into the pot. Bring the soup back to a simmer and continue with the recipe as written. Blending hot liquid is dangerous, so refer to your blender‘s manufacturer for instructions on how to do so if that’s the route you want to take.
- Potato Masher. After the potatoes are tender use a potato masher to mash some of the potatoes directly in the soup pot, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pot frequently as you go. Mash until the liquid in the soup is as thick as you like – but understand that the soup will thicken further when you add the cheeses, and as it sits.
- Hand Mixer. Use a slotted spoon to transfer as many potatoes as you’d like to blend into a bowl. Spoon in about half a cup of liquid into the bowl, then blend with your hand mixer on the lowest speed. Once mostly blended increase the speed and beat until you reach your desired texture. Add it back to the pot and continue with the Cheesesteak Potato Soup recipe as written.
- Skip it entirely. Just leave the potatoes whole. It’ll be just as good, and actually live up to its name! It’ll still be creamy, just not as thick and the mouthfeel will be smoother.
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