Thursday, October 11, 2007


Ahhhh, Fall. It has finally arrived in East Carolina. Today was beautiful -- a "normal" fall October day in New Bern -- dry and about 80 degrees. Tonight it's supposed to be in the high 40's, so tomorrow morning will be nice and crisp. I just had to make potato soup tonight to go with my salmon and broccolli. I wanted to celebrate fall, and I wanted some fall/winter comfort food. To Guy and me, soup is the ultimate comfort food. I make lots of different soups all fall and winter, because we love soup. I don't need a recipe to make potato soup, because I've made it so many times. And there is no rigid recipe for it, because there's room to change things. But I will give you the recipe I made tonight for you to try. I hope you like it as much as we do.
Easy Potato Soup
INGREDIENTS: 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or Smart Balance buttery spread
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped carrot
3 large Russet or Idaho baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
2-1/2 to 3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 - 1 tsp. sea salt, according to your preference
1/4 tsp. pepper (white is preferred but black is ok)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup fat-free half and half or milk (Land-of-Lakes FF H&H is recommended)
Optional: 1/2 cup grated cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS: In 2-quart saucepan, over low-medium heat, saute' onion in oil or SB till transparent. Add celery, carrot and potatoes. Give it a few stirs, then add the chicken broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Raise the heat, bring to a boil and cover. Lower heat, and cook for about 25-30 minutes on low, till all vegetables are tender and cooked through.
At this point, there are two ways to finish the soup:
  1. Remove the cover and mash with a potato masher.
  2. Put contents of pan into blender or food processor and blend smooth.

I prefer method #1 because I like little pieces of vegetable in my soup, and because I don't care to fuss enough to make a smooth soup.

After you do either #1 or #2 above, add the parsley, milk and cheese (if you are using cheese) to the soup and heat till hot, but not boiling. Yield: 4 servings.

You will note in the photo above that the milk is not added to the soup in the jar. Neither is the cheese. We will have the remainder of the soup tomorrow night and I will reheat the soup, and add parsley, cheese and milk at that time. This soup also freezes well if you can keep it around that long. The colder it is outside, the better this tastes.

Also note: Land-of-Lakes FF H&H is the only fat-free half and half that I know of that won't curdle when you heat it, and that is why I recommend it.

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