Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What's For Dinner? Potato Soup

One thing Heidi will always eat is soup and a few weeks ago, we discovered that she really like Potato Soup.  I went online to find a recipe and ended up combining the parts I liked from about four different sites.  I ended up with some of the best potato soup I have ever had! 

I made it about two weeks ago and then again over the weekend.  This time, I doubled the recipe, put it in storage containers, and froze it for easy lunches. 

A quick note about the pictures below - first, these were taken when I doubled the recipe but I am giving directions for a single batch.  A single batch will make about 6 to 8 one cup servings, the double batch made 16 one cup servings, which I froze in two cup servings because we are hearty eaters!  Second, this is my first post with the new camera.  I am still figuring it out but I am already amazing at the improvement in the pictures!

That's enough rambling, let's get started!

Here's what you need:
6 Slices Bacon, Diced
1/2 Medium Onion, Diced
2 Garlic Cloves, Diced (or more if you are really into garlic)
2 Cups Chopped or Shredded Carrots or 2 Whole Carrots, Chopped
6 Whole White Potatoes, Peeled and Chopped into 1 inch cubes
1/2 Cup Instant Mashed Potatoes
1 Cup Milk or Half and Half or a combination of both
32 Ounces Chicken Broth

For all of the items above, if you are doubling the recipe just use twice as much, with the exception of the Chicken Broth.  I would use 32 Ounces of Chicken Broth and 32 Ounces of Water but any combination totaling 64 Ounces will work, it's totally up to you!

Diced or slice the bacon.

Dice the onion.

And dice the garlic.  Please ignore that scrap of peel in the pile, I did pull it out before tossing in the pot.  And while you are at it, ignore that beat up chopping board. 

Let me tell you, this chopping board may look worse for wear but it is that best thing I have even owned.  I purchased it from Pampered Chef a number of years ago, with most of my kitchen gear.  But the reason I love this particular chopping board are the rubber edges that keep it from sliding around my counter.  It's the best and I highly recommend it. 

Toss the bacon in a stock pot and saute.

After the bacon has produced a bit of grease, toss in the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent and the bacon is cooked through.

Remove the bacon, onions, and garlic from the pot and put on a plate.

I could just eat this plate of bacon, onion, and garlic and be done with it.  Try not to do that...

Add chicken broth to the now empty pot and bring to a boil.  Did you notice the broth is missing from the picture above?  Yep, it is.  I don't know where it ran off to at picture time.  Some day, I will get it right but no promises!

Wash, peel, and slice the potatoes into about 1 inch chunks.  If you are not a pro with the knife, just do your best to get the chunks to be about the same size so they cook evenly.  The smaller they are, the faster they cook.

Throw the bacon, onions, and garlic back in the pot and bring to a boil. 

Add the potatoes.  If you are just not able to wait until the broth boils and you dump in your potatoes early, I will not tell anyone.

 Add the carrots.  I cheated and used shredded carrots from a bag.  Use whatever you want but again, uniform slices are the key.

Mix it up really good and bring to a boil.

If you have a helper hanging around, have her put the potato scraps in the compost bowl.

When the pot is bubbling pour in the mashed potato flakes.  This will help the soup be thick in the end.  I know it sounds weird but trust me.

Just trust me.

Reduce to Medium heat and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring from the bottom every 5 minutes or so.

When the potatoes start to get soft, mash with a potato masher.  You could use an immersion blender or a food processor as well but the potato masher will give a nice, lumpy consistency.

It will get thicker and thicker.  After about 30 minutes it will be really thick.  That's when you add the milk. (Not pictured because it's just to much for me to remember that I am supposed to be taking pictures every step of the way!)

And maybe some pepper.  Taste it.  Do you like your potato soup peppery?  I do!

At this point, you could serve it in soup bowls, topped with more bacon, cheese, sour cream, more pepper, whatever floats your boat.  Or, you can let it cool and scoop servings into gladware containers and freeze for later use.

What ever you  do, give this a try.  It is YUMMY!  I promise!!  If you make alterations, and please do, post a comment and let me know what you did!


Anonymous said...

What a great idea for such a cold day. I am adding this to my book.

Anonymous said...

I need a little helper like that!

Kara said...

I love my little helper!! :) Everyone should have one!

But really, I know she will be able to cook for herself many years from now when she is on her own and that's important to me.

Stephanie said...

That sounds delish!! :)

LC said...

Looks great! I'm always fiddling with potato soup, trying to figure out what I like.