Pigskin Soup

Yes it is a strange name for soup, but I think you will like the reason.

I was recently asked to write some articles for the Iowa Food and Family Project‘s monthly newsletter. Beyond excited to have the opportunity to write for this organization that supports and promotes things that I value … Iowa, food, family, and farming, I was glad the topic of the first article they wanted was about my favorite winter comfort food: soup. January is National Soup Month and this time of year begs for an article on what to serve for the upcoming bowl game.

This cheese soup has always been a crowd pleaser among my family and friends. It was definitely going to be a part of the article but it needed a name-lift. If the Packers had been in contention, this job would have been easier. During the brainstorming process, I thought of “Twice-Baked Potato Soup” and “Potato Skin Soup” because the ingredients and flavors of this recipe remind me so much of those foods. Still not thrilled, I started peeling the potatoes and as the peelings hit the sink, I paused. The skins of “potato skins” were destined for the disposal. I saved them, rinsed them and turned them into the best topper for this soup: Baked Potato Skin Crisps.

Turns out peeling potatoes is inspiring. The word “skin” kept going through my head and finally the football connection was made: pigskin.

Please don’t judge how long it took me to come up with this …

The realization that pork was an MVP (couldn’t resist) in this recipe made the name all the more appropriate. Bacon AND ham? Spike the ball!

Hey … at least I didn’t say “Slam Dunk!”

I’m done … here’s the recipe.

Print Recipe
Pigskin Soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30-45 minutes
Servings
2+ quarts
Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (reserve drippings)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white wine preferably Chardonnay) optional
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1-2 cups washed, peeled & diced potatoes reserve peelings - see note below
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Havarti, Cheddar, Swiss - soft, not aged)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Green onions
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30-45 minutes
Servings
2+ quarts
Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (reserve drippings)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white wine preferably Chardonnay) optional
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1-2 cups washed, peeled & diced potatoes reserve peelings - see note below
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Havarti, Cheddar, Swiss - soft, not aged)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Green onions
Instructions
  1. Sauté onions and celery in bacon drippings over medium heat until tender (4-5 minutes).
  2. Sprinkle flour, thyme, ground mustard, and black pepper over vegetables and stir to coat; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add Worcestershire sauce; cook and stir for 2-3 additional minutes.
  4. Add bay leaf and white wine, cook and stir for 3-4 minutes while flour and seasonings thicken the wine and the alcohol evaporates.
  5. Stir in chicken broth, carrots, potatoes and ham; simmer for 10-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender (time varies based on the size of the vegetable pieces).
  6. Slowly stir in one cup of the milk, stirring constantly, until milk is thoroughly warmed. Repeat two more times with remaining milk (see note below).
  7. Add shredded cheese, a little at a time, stirring to allow it to melt in the soup (see note below).
  8. Finish with a small dash of nutmeg. Remove from heat.
  9. Garnish with shredded cheese, green onions, potato skins (see note below), and bacon.
Recipe Notes

Adding the milk and cheese in intervals creates a smoother texture.

Baked Potato Skin Crisps: This recipe provides a delicious topping for this soup, a tasty side to any soup or sandwich and an excellent way to use the potato peelings rather than throw them away!

Leftover Mashed Potato Substitute: This soup is also a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Simply omit the diced potatoes and instead add 1-2 cups of mashed potatoes right before adding the milk and cheese. Stir the mashed potatoes into the soup base until completely warmed and distributed (i.e. few clumps of potato are left).


This soup combines our favorite pork products with that wonderful cheesy appetizer of potato skins. Salty ham and bacon, melty cheeses, and diced potatoes make a bowl of rich soup that is only improved with a sprinkle of crisp bacon, a bit of sour cream and a few strips of baked potato skins.

3 thoughts on “Pigskin Soup

  1. Looks great- I didn’t realise that January was soup month. Darn it, because I was going to write a post about winter picnic soups, should have done it sooner!!

    1. I think national soup day is next week if you can get it pulled together quickly! Love the look of your creamy parsnip soup!!

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Pigskin Soup

This soup combines our favorite pork products with that wonderful cheesy appetizer of potato skins. Salty ham and bacon, melty cheeses, and diced potatoes make a bowl of rich soup that is only improved with a sprinkle of crisp bacon, a bit of sour cream and a few strips of baked potato skins.

Print Recipe
Pigskin Soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30-45 minutes
Servings
2+ quarts
Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (reserve drippings)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white wine preferably Chardonnay) optional
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1-2 cups washed, peeled & diced potatoes reserve peelings - see note below
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Havarti, Cheddar, Swiss - soft, not aged)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Green onions
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30-45 minutes
Servings
2+ quarts
Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (reserve drippings)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white wine preferably Chardonnay) optional
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1-2 cups washed, peeled & diced potatoes reserve peelings - see note below
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Havarti, Cheddar, Swiss - soft, not aged)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Green onions
Instructions
  1. Sauté onions and celery in bacon drippings over medium heat until tender (4-5 minutes).
  2. Sprinkle flour, thyme, ground mustard, and black pepper over vegetables and stir to coat; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add Worcestershire sauce; cook and stir for 2-3 additional minutes.
  4. Add bay leaf and white wine, cook and stir for 3-4 minutes while flour and seasonings thicken the wine and the alcohol evaporates.
  5. Stir in chicken broth, carrots, potatoes and ham; simmer for 10-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender (time varies based on the size of the vegetable pieces).
  6. Slowly stir in one cup of the milk, stirring constantly, until milk is thoroughly warmed. Repeat two more times with remaining milk (see note below).
  7. Add shredded cheese, a little at a time, stirring to allow it to melt in the soup (see note below).
  8. Finish with a small dash of nutmeg. Remove from heat.
  9. Garnish with shredded cheese, green onions, potato skins (see note below), and bacon.
Recipe Notes

Adding the milk and cheese in intervals creates a smoother texture.

Baked Potato Skin Crisps: This recipe provides a delicious topping for this soup, a tasty side to any soup or sandwich and an excellent way to use the potato peelings rather than throw them away!

Leftover Mashed Potato Substitute: This soup is also a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Simply omit the diced potatoes and instead add 1-2 cups of mashed potatoes right before adding the milk and cheese. Stir the mashed potatoes into the soup base until completely warmed and distributed (i.e. few clumps of potato are left).

Leave a Reply