Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spuds to Soup

I concocted some potato soup yesterday while I was busy concocting yesterday's dinner. It's a combination knock-off of several recipes I've seen in my life. I used to make breakfast casserole fairly often enough, but my middle child didn't eat it because he didn't like sausage (and he's the one with the "strappin' country boy build" even), but the other members of the house devoured it, myself included. At least I did till I discovered the pesky allergy, but I did make it occasionally for the remaining members who didn't turn up a nose at it. And yes, I snuck a bite or few...and paid for my choice. I haven't made this in ages, and my husband used the ground sausage intended for the casserole because in his mind sausage biscuits trump breakfast casserole that he doesn't know how to make. So, I had a partial bag of hash brown potato cubes loitering in my freezer.  Due to a shortage of a cast iron skillet, preferably 12 inches in diameter with a lid, this bag of miniaturely cubed spudlets continued to languish. In short, I won't make hash browns anytime soon. I have an onion that needed attention from a pan over heat before it was going to require a Monday Night Eviction for Trash Day. Onion means it's mine and the kids' food, but I will still offer DH a portion in case he changes his mind. Stepmother scars heal far too slowly. But I pressed on, because at that point, my attention was soon needed elsewhere.

I preheated my old inherited-from-mom Corningware casserole on medium heat. I imagine a good dutch oven would be ideal for this but I never seem to get in on Pioneer Woman's blogtests before they go to selection of a winner. Dimmitalltohell anyway. I use what I have, my mother's old Corningware that does go from stovetop to oven to table to microwave. I don't let my children mess with it because once this stuff is gone, it isn't replaceable and the new stuff won't go on the stove like the original does. OK, A.D.D. is raging and caffeine is simply not an option. Neither is rum, but I digress further. 

Let me just start over....
-Chop the onion while you preheat a dutch oven or soup pot on medium. Or chop beforehand, I don't care. Just don't burn the pot, and certainly don't burn the house down.
-Melt butter. Don't spill it, just plop the solid form in the cookware and save yourself a dish to wash. 
-Slowly cook onion on medium to medium-low heat. I tell you to cook slowly so the flavors come out of it. It's called "sweating" the onions. 
-Once the onions soften and near translucent, toss in the frozen hash brown potatoes. Stir around to coat the potatoes with butter and onion flavor. Cover the pot. The idea is to melt the ice crystals and turn them back to water because it steams the potatoes.
-When the potatoes start to soften, pour chicken broth in there and put the cover back. Yes you can allow it to get bubbly, but no raging boil or it will burn. (Don't ask how I know)
-Cook till potatoes are soft, and then mash it up. Use a hand blender, a potato masher, a whisk, a fork. This breaks up the starches and thickens the soup some more. Of course you can also cook it down some more and reduce it. (BTW, Persnickety, I think the other word we were trying to corner for the Beast is "induction". No I haven't looked it up either.) In any case, this is where you can tweak the consistency to your preference. If you leave it alone, you'll have a textured soup. If you mash it up, then it will smooth out a bit. If it's truly too thin, throw some mash' tater flakes in to thicken it up some more. 
-At this point, add some milk, cream or half & half. Stir well and allow to meld with the contents of the pot for a few minutes. 
-Allow to cool overnight, then reheat the next day. WHAT? we all know it tastes better on day two anyhow! 
-I did season the soup at the end with salt and pepper, but waited till the END so the cooking wouldn't overly intensify the salt and pepper. 
-My kids didn't care for it till we grated some cheddar cheese into it. I added some sour cream in mine. I'd imagine any number of additions would make a nice soup/chowder out of this. 

But I figured I would share my ADD ramblings concoction with you as promised. Not bad for a half-yankee raised in the south by Depression Era father and a mother who could screw up a box of mac & cheese.


Suburban Correspondent said...

I still can't reply directly to your comments on my blog! You can set up a gmail address just for blogging and use that for the contact on your Blogger profile page (just remember to check the box to make it public).

Anyway, just had to say you are definitely not a failure for having to farm out your teen! Teens can be completely unmanageable at times, and some are definitely worse than others. I could scream when someone offers me a "helpful" (read, dumb) suggestion for dealing with mine. Hello? Don't you think I tried being nice to her? Don't you think I would give her more freedom if she showed the least capability of being able to handle it? Most people understand that teens at their worst simply want their parents to give them everything they want and then disappear. They most emphatically do not want to get along with us!

fazzey said...

Sounds yummy!! think i will try it. Thanks

** miss shannon ** said...

Oh I'm trying this next week on soup night for sure... I so need economical meals these days... And do you mind if I add it to the recipes Beth & I will be doing in our yahoo group? Thanks for sharing luv :D. PS. Miss you in chat.