When I’m down, I head for the pantry. Food brings comfort. Something about a warm chocolate chip cookie, a potato chip or two or the whole bag makes me feel all is right with the world.
But far above cookies or chips on my comfort food list is potato soup. I’m not sure why. My mom didn’t make it when I was growing up. I’m not sure I even had it before I was married. Somehow I came across the recipe and started making it and fell in love. I don’t make it often because it’s a bit calorie laden, usually once a winter, sometimes twice. The biggest problem? I eat most of it by myself. I make tomato soup for my kids, which they love with grilled cheese, and I eat my potato soup. For the next week.
It is one of the few meals I will eat every day and not have an issue. Yes, I’m one of those people. The ones who don’t like to eat leftovers because I just ate it the day before. 🙂 I go so far as to not eat ground beef, chicken, pork, etc. two days in a row. Extreme, I know. And I am getting less persnickety about it. IF the meals are completely different, like hamburgers and lasagna (both contain ground beef), it’s okay, but if we have chicken strips, then I won’t make grilled barbecue chicken the next night. Just can’t do it.
Okay, I know you’re just dying for that recipe now, so here it is…
2 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled
1 lb onions
1 whole clove
pinch of thyme
2 cups milk
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
Slice peeled potatoes and onions into ¼ inch thick slices. Put water (I usually have to add more to cover potatoes), thyme and clove into soup pot. Add the potatoes and onions, some salt and pepper; bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour. (Drain slightly, if necessary, save water just in case). Rub mixture through a strainer, or process in food processor or blender 1 cup at a time until smooth. Return to pot, stir in milk, reheat but do not boil. Taste and correct seasonings.
***Variation 1:I’ll fry some bacon until crisp in the pot. Remove bacon, but leave drippings. Add crisped, crumbled bacon on top of soup in bowl.
***Variation 2: I’ll add a couple cups of shredded cheddar cheese at the very end, when the soup is rewarmed after the addition of the milk. Stir to melt.
And because I know not everyone likes potato soup, here’s the tomato soup recipe…
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 (28 oz) cans crushed or diced tomatoes
3 1/2 cups broth (vegetable, chicken or beef)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground pepper
4 drops Tabasco sauce (more or less to taste)
Heat oil in dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until the onion is tender. Add carrot and celery; cook 7 to 9 minutes until tender, stirring frequently (I have never waited for them to be tender. I usually let them saute for about 5 minutes then move on.) Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
***author note: because my kids don’t want to see carrots and celery in their tomato soup, I use an immersion/stick blender to blend the soup. You could also use a blender or food processor.
Serve one or both with grilled cheese and sweet tea (I am a southern girl), and you have the ultimate comfort meal.
Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer — in that order (mostly). When not homeschooling her youngest four, doing laundry or fixing dinner, she writes or reads romance of any genre, some sci-fi/fantasy, and some suspense. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and writes regularly for two blogs. In addition to all that, she loves animals, horses especially, likes to do needlework (knitting, crocheting, and sometimes cross-stitch), and loves to sing.