Let me start by saying that I do not like potato soup.
This is coming from the lover of all things potato. Mashed potatoes. Baked potatoes. Potatoes Au Gratin. French Fries. Hash browns. Potato Chips. Fried potatoes. Skillet potatoes. (I think you get the point). There is no form of potato that I don’t like. Except for potato soup.
For some reason, there is just something off about potatoes in liquid form. In soup form, I will pass on the potato.
So, you can imagine my level of excitement when I went to a jewelry party where dinner was provided, and the main dish was, you guessed it, potato soup. But, my aunt (aka Betty Crocker) was the one who prepared it, so I decided out of courtesy, I’d give it a try. I could choke down a few bites then move on to the lemon cake and raspberry cheesecake bites, and all would be well with the world.
I scooped a very small cup and proceeded to take my first Squidward bite, looking around to make sure no one was paying any attention at the minescule amount of soup that was on my spoon. I smiled at the woman across the room, gripped my cup of apple cinnamon cider for a quick chaser, and took the bite.
Then, something odd happened. I didn’t gag. And more surprisingly, I almost enjoyed it. Surely not. I took another bite just to verify that my gag reflex was still in tact. I swallowed even more slowly, just to make sure. But low and behold, this soup was good. How could that be? It’s potato soup. “Good” and “potato soup” have never mixed in the same sentence from me before. But on this cold night, they did. I then proceeded to eat 2 more cups and asked for the recipe on the way out the door.
Since that night, I have made this soup 3 times in six weeks. And two of those times were in a 4 day period.
So, I feel the need to share this recipe with the world. If it can make me eat potato soup and actually enjoy it, maybe it can rescue someone else from the liquidly blandness previously known as potato soup. I hope this will set you free, as it did me.
Oh, and the recipe calls for 2lbs cubed potatoes. Feel free to cube your own, but I have 3 kids, a self-employed-work-from-home husband, 4 cats and a somewhat house-trained dog, so Ore-Ida was kind enough to cube mine for me. And freeze them. Aren’t they nice?
1 stick of butter (I used salted)
1/4 cup AP flour
1 quart Half & Half
4 chicken bouillon cubes (confession: I had to go look in order to spell it correctly)
1/2 cup minced onions (confession: I used the dried kind)
2lbs cubed potatoes
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped ham (I bought a ham slice)
Milk or water (for thinning)
In a dutch over (or equivalent), melt butter. Once melted, add the flour. Stir until mixed thoroughly, then cook lightly for several minutes to thicken. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.
Add half & half. (You could use milk if you like a thinner soup, but I like the richness this adds). Mix, then add bouillon cubes. Cook on medium until cubes have dissolved. Stir as necessary. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Mix well.
Add the potatoes. (You can also use the kind that have peppers and onions already in the package if you’d like, or you can add fresh. My kids don’t like any green pieces unless they have chocolate in the middle, so I stuck with just the regular kind). Stir. Add ham. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for a few hours.
You’ll need to check it periodically and add more liquid. You can use milk or water Just add a bit at a time to bring it back to the desired consistency. Taste occasionally to check seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Once the potatoes are soft and start to separate, it’s done!
Serve in a sour dough bread bowl for an extra touch of magic.
NOTE: My aunt recommended not making this in a crock pot. She said for some reason, it separates sometimes on her when she did. She said stove top does not do that. So, use a slow cooker at your own risk.
ANOTHER NOTE: I am not a photographer. I don’t even pretend to be one. I got a T1i for Christmas, but have yet to learn how to use it. I tried to take a picture for this, but I could not make the soup look appetizing. I tried a green bowl, a white bowl, a cup, a mug – it all just looked like white mush. So, no picture. You’ll just have to imagine how beautiful and tasty it’s going to look.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have. So go… live long, prosper, and eat potato soup.