Comfort food. Like fondue in a bowl. The recipe calls for 5 cups of liquid, divided between broth or stock and milk. You can change the proportions to suit your taste–more milk will make for a creamier soup. The cheese is your call; cheddar is traditional, but there is such an array of cheeses available now that I think it behooves us to experiment with other varieties, alone or in combination.

2 T butter or oil
3 c chopped onions
4 c (peeled) chopped potatoes
3 c broth or stock
salt and pepper, to taste
2 c milk, or milk substitute
1 1/2 c – 2 c grated (cheddar) cheese, or cheese substitute
dash of paprika

1. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, melt butter or heat oil. Add onions and and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft, about 7 or 8 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, a bit more salt and some pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 minutes or so.

2. Now, you can remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender or in a regular blender, or you can leave the soup chunky.

3. Once you have decided which route you are taking and have acted, return the pot to the heat and add milk, cheese, and paprika. Cook, stirring, over low heat, until the cheese has melted and the soup is heated through. Don’t let the soup boil, or the milk may separate. Taste for seasonings and serve, savoring each spoonful.