Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Smell Of My Favorite Comfort Food Filling The House

Growing up, my grandmother and my mom both made this wonderful soup that I've never found anywhere else. Potato soup! Now, before you ask the address of the rock beneath which I must have lived all my life, let me explain. I know they didn't invent the concept. I've had potato soup elsewhere and from a can. I would almost qualify all those other versions as chowders. Anytime I have had opportunity to eat potato soup, not made by my mom, it was very thick and often dressed up with bacon bits or cheese. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The soup I grew up on was thin and delicious! It was basically boiling boiling potatoes with onion, much like preparing to make mashed potatoes. Then, once they're cooked, you drain the water, add milk and a whole lot of butter, salt and pepper. Bring just to boil, then its done! We always crumbled saltine crackers into the bowl with the soup and it made this starchy mush that was "to die for!" It probably sounds strange to someone who's never had it this way. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I do like to tweak things and dress them up a bit, though. I'm also almost morally opposed to serving a meal that's all one color. The answer to this is, of course, garnish. So, today, I'm while I'm typing this, I'm smelling the wonderful potato/onion combo on the stove top. However, we don't keep saltines in the pantry, so I've decided to make croutons from my home made bread. I just melted some butter, cubed a big chunk of bread, tossed in it the butter. Then I put this in the oven on a baking sheet, preheated to 250, and turned the oven off. The croutons will be prefect by the time my soup is ready.
Now, for those of you that never leave for a road trip without a map and never attempt a meal without a recipe, I hear you. Here's an actual recipe:

Potato Soup
3-4 Medium Potatoes, Peeled, Chopped to Bite-size
1/2 Medium Onion, Chopped
Appx. 1 1/2 C. Milk
4 Tbsp Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste (I will remind you that potatoes are the black hole of seasoning and you will need to apply liberally)

In a 3-4 qt pot, boil the chopped potatoes and onion, until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the water, pour in the milk and the butter. You just need enough milk to cover your veggies. Heat until it just starts to bubble. Turn off the heat and stir in your salt and pepper. You can always substitute the onion with scallions. Its a sharper taste and will break the all white rule so you won't feel so monochromatic.  This makes appx. 4 servings. Enjoy!

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