Potato-Cheddar Soup With Quick-Pickled Jalapeños

Potato-Cheddar Soup With Quick-Pickled Jalapeños

If cheesy mashed potatoes became a cozy soup, it would be this. It’s rich but not excessive, hearty but not heavy, and spiked with a little chili powder and some garlic to liven it up. The homemade pickled jalapeños give this a bright tang that perks up every creamy bite. Quick and easy to make, the jalapeños are leagues better than anything in a jar, and leftovers are excellent in sandwiches or scrambled into eggs.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Thinly slice the jalapeños, discarding the seeds if you like. Put slices in a bowl and squeeze in enough lime juice to cover them. Add a pinch each of salt and sugar. Let sit at room temperature while you make the soup. (The jalapeños can be prepared up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator; they get softer and more pickle-y as they sit.)
  2. Step 2

    In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery and a large pinch of salt, and sauté until lightly golden and soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute.
  3. Step 3

    Add potatoes, broth and 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are very tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Using an immersion blender or transferring the soup to a regular blender in batches, purée the soup, adding some water as needed to thin it out. (The soup can be as thick or brothy as you like.)
  5. Step 5

    Return the soup to the pot if you removed it and reduce heat to medium-low. Add cheese and half-and-half, and cook at a very gentle simmer, stirring, until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Step 6

    Top each bowl with pickled jalapeños, plus a drizzle of their pickling liquid and a pinch of chili powder, along with scallions, cilantro and more Cheddar.