Friday, September 13, 2013

Something From Nothing #16: Creamy Potato Soup

The first little sign of fall arrived on our doorstep a couple of days ago.  The temperature dropped 30 degrees overnight, and at first a soft rain moved in soaking our yard, and now three days later it is still raining.

My poor dog is totally depressed by this weather.  Unable to take our morning walks, we have been virtually housebound.  I feel so sorry for him as I watch the wheels turn in his furry little head as to how he's going to get his business done outside without getting drenched. I don't know what he dislikes more, rain soaked fur or the vigorous towel rubdown he gets before he can come back in the house.

Oftentimes when we have a sudden change of weather like this, or on those days when I lose my steam late in the day, I will abort more involved dinner plans and go to our favorite default recipe, potato soup.  I guess I inherited this from my mom who loved nothing better than cooking up a big pot and throwing in a pint of raw oysters after dipping out a bowl for me and my sister.

In its most basic form, potato soup is a super simple tummy warmer.  Throw in a few extra ingredients and you can easily make clam chowder, a spicy roasted poblano soup or like my mom, a briny oyster stew.  Oh yeah, and don't forget about the version where you chill it and blend it for a cool vichyssoise.

So next time you are starving and the cupboard is bare, or if your bag of potatoes is starting to sprout and you don't want them to go to waste, a simple, wholesome and filling supper is closer than you think.

Creamy Potato Soup

1 - 1/2 pounds peeled potatoes (about 4 medium), cubed
1 medium size onion, peeled and cubed
Enough water or chicken broth to cover potatoes in a medium to large size sauce pan
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 - 2 cups milk or half and half
Salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes, onion and bay leaf in a medium to large size saucepan.  Pour enough water or chicken broth over them to cover by about 1 - 2".  Bring to boil over medium high heat.  Once they boil reduce heat to medium making sure they maintain a slow boil.  Cook until potatoes and onions are very soft and break apart easily when pierced with a fork.

Remove from the heat and discard bay leaf.  If needed pour off a bit of the water or broth so that the vegetables are not quite covered.  Mash the potatoes and onion with a potato masher, immersion blender or the back of a fork until they are mostly mashed.  Stir in milk until desired consistency is reached.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Return to a medium heat and cook until it is heated through.

Serve immediately just like this or with your favorite garnishes.  Some of my favorites are grated cheese, sour cream, bacon bits and green onion.  I also like chopped ripe tomatoes and basil or roasted green chiles and cheese.


Angela said...

*yes* to this with oysters. Yes.

Barb | Creative Culinary said...

I've been trying hard to hang onto summer but then...I'm sick of the heat and seems I'm losing my grip anyhow considering the last couple of days we've had.

I love potato soup. I won't lie and have to admit it just calls for a big old pat of butter for me but oysters would be good too...see, now I'm craving a fall weather soup. It's done. Summer is over. This would be a great soup to celebrate that with!

Karen Harris said...

I hear you on the butter. My spare tire loves it too, but I'm trying to be a good girl. I figure the cheese and sour cream is sin enough. Oh, what the heck, I'll have the butter too.

Holly @ said...

I just finished my third day straight of eating potato soup for dinner (and once for lunch too). I agree it goes with this rain we've had this week. Wasn't it wonderful to see the sun shine through today? Your photo makes me want to make yet another batch of this soup for next week!

Rosemary Wolbert said...

A simply stunning photograph to celebrate the beautiful simplicity of the soup. I love potato soup. Mr. Rosemary insists on a handful of ham or bacon as one of the extra. A friends Polish mother always added a simple dumpling of flour and egg.

Sue/the view from great island said...

This looks so comforting, and I love the cup and saucer!

Ansh| Spiceroots said...

I saw the post last night and decided I will make it and report back. Then I saw the roasted poblano soup and now I am spoiled for choices.

LOVE your recipes. They nourish my soul!

Nusrat Azim said...

Soul-soothing soup. And nourishing.
Lovely styling and vibrant photos.
Thank God I found your adorable blog :)

Amy said...

Love this creamy tomato soup. IT looks even more scrumptious with the cheese and green onion on top. :)

cquek said...

I will try this immediately.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I love potato soup! Although I'm more apt to include some bacon and call it chowder. ;-) This looks wonderful, and the weather here is finally cooling off enough so I can start making soup again! Good stuff - thanks.

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

This simple recipe is exactly the soup I grew up on in Kansas. It's still one of my favorites. Good to see you today Karen.

Yvette said...

Oh yum! I wish I had some of this for dinner tonight. Perfect for this gloomy weather. Soooo great to see you today. We need to do it more often.

Yvette said...

Looks so yummy and perfect for this gloomy weather. It was so great to see you today.

Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice said...

Potato soup is perfect comfort food on a rainy day. I have a feeling that we'll be seeing lots of wet days this fall, unfortunately!

Val said...

Definitely added 4 tablespoons to the whole recipe... Being very naughty :-)