For some reason, I’ve been REALLY craving potato soup lately. Obviously I put it down to the cold weather and piles of snow which surround us at the moment, but more than that, I think I just associate potato soup with my grandmother, and my grandmother I associate with Christmas, and tis the season…
So anyway, a few days ago, I got the idea to go ahead and make some homemade potato soup. But having never made it before in my life, and not knowing what the hell I was doing, did I decide to make a test batch to try it out?
I made enough to fill a bucket and decided to freeze it up so I could eat it for the rest of the winter whenever I want!
And you know what? It didn’t turn out half bad.
I think I’m blessed to come from a family of excellent cooks. My mom can pretty much whip up anything from nothing, and since she’s a really picky eater, her dishes tend to be very simplistic, yet AMAZINGLY yummy. My grandma USED to be a good cook, too, but I think her taste buds have deteriorated over the years, as a lot of her stuff these days is kind of… well… flavorless.
Anyhow, both of these wonderful ladies have been kind enough over the years to impart me with little bits of knowledge which I have been able to utilize for my own nefarious purposes when creating recipes from scratch.
For my potato soup, I came armed with absolutely NO ideas about execution, only a general understanding of how it should taste by the end.
Yesterday, as Mark finished his work day in the comfort of our dining room (he worked from home due to weather), I started to prepare for my culinary masterpiece. I HAD warned Mark that I was making potato soup for dinner, as I wasn’t exactly sure if he liked it or not and what his response would be. But as usual, he was game.
So I rolled up my sleeves, battered some pots and pans around and started to cook.
The obvious first constituent of any good potato soup (at least in my mind) is… potatoes. I figure they are integral to the recipe, so I chopped about 13 or 14 of the buggers up into a big pot and covered them in water. I set them on to boil.
I also wanted the soup to be hearty and full of flavour AND goodness, so I decided to fill it full of whatever vegetables I had on hand. And while I set about chopping them up, I got me a pack of Oscar Meyer bacon and fried it up nice and crispy.
Once the veggies were chopped up nice and fine and the bacon was removed from the pan, I added about half a cup of butter to the bacon grease and then threw the vegetables in to fry until they were tender, but not brown.
Once they were of the right consistency, I had a small dilemma. I had planned on using milk to get the creamy consistency I dreamed of, but I felt that it was going to be too thin. So at the last minute, I changed the plan and got a pint of cream, which I mixed up with a couple tablespoons of corn flour. I then added the mixture into the vegetables and let it simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly so it wouldn’t become lumpy. Once it seemed right, I then crumbled up all the crispy bacon and added it into the mixture.
Then, I simply added the entire mixture into the big pot of potatoes and stirred it on up. By this point, the potatoes were super tender and the water had boiled down a bit. So the addition of the cream sauce gave it a creamy SOUPY consistency, which is what I was after.
In the end, after tasting it, I added three other ingredients to give it that special something. Firstly, I added about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese, which made it even creamier and gave it an edge. Then I added two cooking essentials: salt and pepper to season it.
I was REALLY pleased with how it all turned out, and I wound up having a big bowl for dinner (as did Mark) and putting the rest into tupperware for eventual freezing.
The only thing I think I could improve on (if I say so myself!) is that next time I will chop the potatoes much smaller.
What’s your favorite winter soup recipe? Or just a favorite recipe in general!?
- 1 lb bacon, chopped
- 1/2 C butter
- 2 large sweet onions, diced small
- 2 large carrots, diced small
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- 5 lbs potatoes, cubed
- 2 C cream
- 2 Tbsp corn flour
- 1 C shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper
- In a large pot, place your cubed potatoes and then cover with cold water. Don’t add too much water – just enough to cover the potatoes by about an inch. Set on the stove to boil and cook while you work on the rest of the soup.
- Chop up the bacon into small pieces and then fry them up in a large skillet. Allow them to get pretty well done, as they will get soggier when added to the soup. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the grease.
- Next, add your butter to the pan to combine with the bacon grease. Throw in your diced veggies to the mix. I generally stick to the classic onions, carrots and celery, but you can add mushrooms or other vegetables if you fancy them. Cook them until very tender. Then turn down the heat to low.
- Into the pan, sprinkle your corn flour around the cooked veggies and stir until the flour dissolves. Then pour in your cream, stirring again. Continue stirring until you have a nice slurry.
- Pour your vegetable slurry mixture into the pot of potatoes. Use a long spoon to stir it all together. The water from the potatoes will mix with the slurry and thicken up nicely.
- Add in your cooked bacon pieces and stir again.
- Finally, add in your shredded cheddar cheese.
- Taste the mixture and add salt or pepper until it tastes perfect.
You CAN leave the bacon and cheese out at the end and just use it to garnish the soup, but I personally prefer to have it all IN the soup. It just tastes amazing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 620Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 22g