Thursday, February 21, 2008

Potato Soup: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Some days just don't go exactly right.


On such days, it is crucial to eat some comfort food. I usually choose chocolate, but today just called for soup. I am typically not a big soup fan, but I do enjoy a good potato soup. I have never followed a recipe, but tonight I kept track of what I threw in the pot so I could share it with all of cyberspace.

I started with seven medium-sized red potatoes.


You can use whatever potatoes you happen to have, but since I had some red ones on hand, I chose them. They tend to keep their integrity when boiled (i.e. they don't turn to mush). They also taste pretty good. Chop them up like this.


Throw them in a pot and cover them with chicken stock.


This is the kind I use, not because it's organic (not that there's anything wrong with that), but because I can buy it in bulk at Costco (and it tastes yummy).


Cover the pot and turn that burner on high until it boils. Then you can turn it down to medium-high. Cook until the potatoes are tender (you can cut through one of the bigger chunks with a spoon).

Meanwhile, throw a stick of butter in a smaller pot and put it on medium-high heat. Chop up an onion (I only used half tonight because the kiddos are not big onion fans). Throw it in the pot with the butter, which should be melted by now.


Cook that until the onions are translucent.

Meanwhile, chop up some bacon. If you don't have any leftover bacon like I did tonight, you can cook some and use the bacon grease instead of butter in the previous step. When I chopped up my leftover bacon tonight, I quickly realized that someone had stolen a few of the slices from the fridge today. I only had about half of what I needed (I usually use about 8 slices). It looks so lonely there on the cutting board.


I had to cheat and find it some friends. I threw in some pre-cooked bacon pieces out of a package. Don't tell.


There. That looks better.

Meanwhile, over at the stove, the onions are done. I dump in 1/4 cup of flour and some salt and pepper. Then I choose my other seasonings. Some people would have cooked some celery with those onions, but others don't have celery in the fridge and would have to drive 50 miles to get some. Those of you in a similar predicament can cheat like I do and use this.


I figure I used about a teaspoon of that in with the onions. I also used about 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. This is what it looks like with the flour and seasonings.


Now it's time to add some liquid to the lump of stuff. In a perfect world, you would use some half and half, but in my world, you have to use a 12-ounce can of evaporated milk. Then add the bacon. Another option is to add some cheese at this point to get a chowder-like soup. I threw in about 1/2 a cup of medium cheddar.


The potatoes should be done by now. If they are, it's time to combine the two pots. Remove from heat and stir until they are incorporated. It should look something like this.


This is how I serve it, but I suppose if you were trying to impress someone, you could dump it in a fancy bowl, like this high-dollar Corelle serving piece.


Some people would choose a nice, crusty bread to accompany such a chowder. In our house, we use last night's leftovers.


Yes, that's a hot dog, folks. I had some extra dough when I made rolls yesterday, so I wrapped it around a couple of packs of hot dogs and called it supper.

Hopefully the soup tasted good enough to make up for the side dish.


Brother in Christ said...

Hey little sis......can I come to your house for supper??!!

BoufMom9 said...

YUMMY! I am a big soup maker, but have never made potato before. (not sure why)
Will definitely have to give this one a try. :)
We are surely in the need for some comfort foods here as well. I hate snow right now...

ohfarmmom said...

Mmmmm.....a big pot of comfort!

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