Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recipe Review: Potato Soup

I pulled out an old standby for dinner tonight, potato soup. (Mostly because it didn't require going to the store on the way home from work.) It's extremely easy and quite basic.

1/4 c butter
1/4 of an onion, chopped (or 2 Tbs dried onion, which is what I always use)
5 large potatoes, peeled (if desired) and chopped
1 qt water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in the butter. Add the potatoes, water, and bouillon. Make sure all the potato chunks are submerged. Simmer for 20-30 min on medium-medium high heat until potatoes are soft when you poke them with a fork. Mash up some of the potatoes with a potato masher until it reaches the desired lumpiness (or if you like super creamy soup with no lumps, use an immersion blender). Add evaporated milk; heat through but don't boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I usually err on the side of less on the theory that people can season it how they want to after it's served.) Top with shredded cheese and bacon bits. Serve with a bread product.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20-30 min
Servings: 5-6ish
Materials needed: 1 pot, 1 potato peeler, 1 knife for chopping, cutting board, rubber scraper or something similar to stir with, something to serve with (ladle)

I opted to go for biscuits today as my bread product, since they take about the same amount of time to make as the potato soup does to cook. Perfect coordination and it tasted yummy too. This soup is also really good with homemade bread (my favorite recipes are this white bread - with only 2-3 Tbs sugar, not 2/3 cup - and this wheat bread, which I don't make as much because Nathan hates ground wheat bitsies in his bread). I could see it being fantastic with these baguettes for something a little fancier as well. Pretty much any homemade bread stuff will be excellent, in fact.

I personally find this soup to be great as is, but if you want it to be jazzed up a bit, you could consider adding things like:

- chopped cooked chicken
- ham
- celery
- herb seasonings like basil, oregano, parsley, etc.
- red pepper flakes
- garlic
- shredded cheeses besides cheddar

Experiment to your heart's desire. Or just stick with the basics and enjoy a super easy and filling meal.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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