Easy Potato Soup

Earlier this week, I managed to pick up some sort of stomach bug which made eating anything with any real spice unpalatable.  In fact, my dinner Tuesday night was a sleeve of saltine crackers and a couple of cans of Sprite Zero.  Delicious AND nutritious, I say!

Last night, I decided to test the waters with eating something that had a bit more flavor than plain saltines.  When SB and I first met way back when, we’d gone to his folks’ house, and on that particular day, his mother was making a potato soup for his dad, who’d been out hunting all day.  I remember sitting in their living room, smelling the soup and thinking, “Damn, I really want some, but we just ate.”  I haven’t forgotten that, and it’s been nearly 8 years ago since that day.  So the other day when I was feeling wormy, I had SB ask his mama just how she made that soup that smelled oh-so-good.  And from the information he relayed to me, it was quite simple:  potatoes, broth, onions, salt, pepper and cheese, if you wanted.  I changed the recipe up a bit, but it’s still quite good and could be eaten at any time of year, really.

So yeah, it's 100 degrees out, and what did I fix for dinner last night? Potato soup that did NOT require me to stand over a hot stove for long!

This recipe could easily be made vegetarian or vegan with the use of veggie broth and the exclusion of the bacon.  Here’s how I made mine.  You will need:

  • 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chunked
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 slices uncooked bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • black pepper
  • cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil and cook the carrots and celery until they are slightly soft.  You don’t want them to give too much; you want to cook them until you can smell the sweetness of the carrot, about 10 minutes.  Add the broth, bacon and potatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stir in the black pepper and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring periodically.  Using a potato masher, smash the potatoes slightly to break them up.  You do not want mashed potato consistency, but rather a chunky soupy consistency.

Serve hot, with a salad if you like.  You may garnish the soup with shredded cheddar cheese, or you can stir it into the entire pot at the end of the cooking process if you want your soup to be more cheesy.  I sprinkled a couple of tablespoons on my bowl and stirred them in, which is why the bowl above appears a bit orangey.

This recipe made 6 1 3/4 cup servings.  Since we ate ours as a meal by itself, you could reduce the serving size and serve it alongside a salad or sandwich.

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