Monday, January 4, 2010

Perfect Potato Soup

The highest forecasted temperature on any given day this week is 20.

Twenty degrees. And that isn't until Wednesday. This past weekend didn't see a temp higher than 15 and that only lasted about thirty seconds in the middle of the day.

The best thing you can do during these extreme lows is to go outside as little as possible. And if you do go out make sure you cover up all of you epidermis. I do mean all. Get some goggles if you still need to see, but cover it all up.

After shivering under a mountain of blankets all day nothing seems to warm my body and soul more than a big ole pot of soup.

I love soup, but Andy doesn't think it qualifies as a meal so I don't make soup often and when I do it has to be hearty. Because Andy certainly doesn't look like it, but he can put away some food, and if I don't fill him up at dinner he'll spend the rest of the evening pilfering in the kitchen.

This potato soup has served us well for about two years. I think the original recipe came for a recipe website, but I don't have that documented and I've tweeked it so much I feel comfortable calling it my own. It's very basic, so it is perfect for dressing up and making it your perfect potato soup. Have fun with it!

*This recipe is not vegetarian, but can easily be modified to make it so. Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock and leave out the bacon.

Perfect Potato Soup (for cold, indulgent days)

6-8 russett potatoes, peeled & cut into pieces
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 can chicken stock (if you're using homemade use about 2 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Salt & pepper to taste
Cheddar cheese

In a large pot combine potatoes, onion, chicken stock, heavy cream and water. Bring to a boil over med-hi heat and cook until potatoes are soft.

Reduce heat to medium and add the milk, sour cream, butter and crumbled bacon (you can also add in another cup of water if you want a little more liquid). Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the potatoes start to break down and soup thickens.

You can leave the pot alone and let the magic happen while you do something else, or, if you're in a hurry to eat (like I always am) you can help the process along by "mashing the potatoes." I like to use a whisk. It's not as aggressive as a potato masher and this soup runs a fine line between soupy mashed potatoes and hearty potato soup. When it's done you want some potato chunks left.

Serve with shredded cheddar on top and a cheddar biscuit (recipe below) on the side. Comfort food at it's finest!

If you have any leftovers that need to be reheated the next day you might want to add a little milk or chicken stock if you have it. The soup tends to thicken when it sits.

Cheddar Biscuits (recipe from

2 1/4 cups dry all-purpose baking mix for biscuits
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
2 tbs chopped fresh herbs (optional, I use parsley if I have it)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbs dijon mustard
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425

In a large bowl mix together baking mix, cheese and herbs.

In another bowl, mix sour cream, mustard and milk. Pour into cheese mixture and combine.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and kneed about 10 times.

Cut into biscuits and bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.